EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- Every week, ABC-7 anchor Mauricio Casillas will speak to Dr. Edward Michelson. Dr. Michelson is the chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.
Here's the Q&A for March 4:
Mauricio Casillas (KVIA): How has this past week gone for you?
Dr. Edward Michelson (Chairman, Dept. of Emergency medicine TTUHSC El Paso): "We're doing a great job here in El Paso. As of today, we're up to almost 140,000 who have received at least one dose of either of the two vaccines, and 84,000 who are fully vaccinated. That's very encouraging."
Casillas: Can hospitals handle the current number of patients?
Dr. Michelson: "Hospital numbers are looking very encouraging. For the first time this year, we've fallen below 300 Covid patients in hospital in El Paso. That's very good news."
Casillas: What should people at home be doing right now?
Dr. Michelson: "There may be some confusion relative to recent announcements from the governor about relaxing restrictions on social distancing. Relaxing restrictions on businesses. In my opinion, the safest thing to do is to continue to wear your masks and practice social distancing."
Casillas: What is the most eye-opening thing you’ve seen this week?
Dr. Michelson: "We've now surpassed 2,000 patients who have been infused with Bamlanivimab. We're continuing to offer those infusions. So I encourage people, if you think you might have been infected with Covid, by all means get checked. Get tested. If you're within 10 days of infection and you meet the criteria, please seek out the infusion with Bamlanivimab. We know that reduces the chances of ending up in the hospital."
Casillas: What is your prediction for next week?
Dr. Michelson: "My concern is to start watching the positivity rate once some people stop wearing their masks. We're currently at about five percent."
Casillas: What is giving you hope at this time?
Dr. Michelson: "I get a lot of hope from the fact that our numbers of people in the hospital are dropping. The number of people getting vaccinated is increasing."
Casillas: What is your message to the Borderland?
Dr. Michelson: "This is not the time to sit at a bar without a mask on and be socializing. This is not to sit inside a crowded restaurant. This is the time to continue using your masks. Visit with family and friends outdoors. If you have a meal, do so outdoors. Let's keep up the good work we've been doing. Let's not lose ground based on some changes in state mandates."