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‘Rough month of July’: Weekly check-in with UMC’s Dr. Jose Burgos

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- In an effort to deliver the most comprehensive coronavirus coverage, ABC-7 has started a weekly feature where we ask Dr. Jose Burgos, the director of internal medicine at University Medical Center, the same seven questions each week to track how the pandemic is changing.

Here's the Q&A for Friday, July 31:

Mauricio Casillas (KVIA): How has this past week gone for you?

Dr. Jose Burgos (UMC's Director of Internal Medicine): "We had a rough month of July. Mainly the first couple of weeks. You can sense that everywhere, I mean in every other hospital, clinic -- you go -- colleagues that you talk to. I mean, we're doing fine. I think people are keeping a good positive energy. We're seeing, somehow, light at the end."

Casillas: Can hospitals handle the current number of patients?

Burgos: "We are busy, but still we can handle this."

Casillas: What should people at home be doing right now?

Burgos: "There is one particular thing. If you haven't been sick with Covid by now, it means that you're doing something right. Whatever it is, keep doing it."

Casillas: What is the most eye-opening thing you've seen this week?

Burgos: "I do have this image of this particular who wanted to go home at all costs. She was even mad at us like 'Ok, I'm ready to go home. I'm feeling great.' And I'm like, 'I'm happy that you're feeling great, but the reality is that you need so much oxygen.' There was no way that I could send her home with a tank, or with a concentrator because it's just too much. It won't be able to be sustained just with those two devices, so we need to wait a little bit longer. The lady was actually telling me, 'You know what? I'm just walking out of here. I don't mind, because I feel great. I told her I cannot keep you here against your will, but I'm sure you're going to feel sick. She took off the oxygen, three minutes later, she was -- good thing that the nurse was there -- but she almost passed out. We have to be patient."

Casillas: What is your prediction for next week?

Burgos: "I'm sure that our numbers will probably be steady for two or three weeks. If we are doing the right thing -- practicing social distancing, wearing our masks at all times, then hopefully we can see the numbers coming down."

Casillas: What is giving you hope at this time?

Burgos: "Seeing more people being responsible and understanding that wearing a mask is a courtesy."

Casillas: What is your message to the Borderland?

Burgos: "If you take care of yourself, you're taking care of others. As a community, we're going to heal together."

Statistics for July 31:

  • 14,276 total cases, 3,311 active cases, 266 deaths in El Paso County

Here's a list of earlier segments:

  • April 9 Q&A: (225 cases , 1 death)
  • April 16 Q&A: (451 cases, 7 deaths)
  • April 23 Q&A: (675 total cases, 543 active cases, 10 deaths)
  • April 30 Q&A: (924 total cases, 506 active cases, 21 deaths)
  • May 7 Q&A: (1,190 total cases, 541 active cases, 30 deaths)
  • May 14 Q&A: (1,607 total cases, 771 active cases, 43 deaths)
  • May 21 Q&A: (2,046 total cases, 883 active cases, 57 deaths)
  • May 28 Q&A: (2,569 total cases, 1,032 active cases, 72 deaths)
  • June 4 Q&A: (3,069 total cases, 1,059 active cases, 89 deaths)
  • June 11 Q&A: (3,650 total cases, 1,015 active cases, 97 deaths)
  • June 18 Q&A: (4,088 total cases, 946 active cases, 119 deaths)
  • June 25 Q&A: (4,984 total cases, 1394 active cases, 125 deaths)
  • July 2 Q&A: (6,389 total cases, 2,223 active cases, 132 deaths)
  • July 9 Q&A(8,385 total cases, 3,085 active cases, 145 deaths)
  • July 16 Q&A: (10,638 total cases, 3,708 active cases, 173 deaths)
  • July 23 Q&A: (12,501 total cases, 3,564 active cases, 211 deaths)
Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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Mauricio Casillas

El Paso native Mauricio Casillas is a former co-anchor of ABC-7’s Good Morning El Paso.


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