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 Feb. 4:
Mauricio Casillas (KVIA): How has this past week gone for you?
Dr. Edward Michelson (Chairman, Dept. of Emergency medicine TTUHSC El Paso): "We've had another busy week. The number of Covid cases in hospital is relatively stable."
Casillas: Can hospitals handle the current number of patients?
Dr. Michelson: "Yes. Hospitals can handle the current number of patients. We'd like to see that number go down of course."
Casillas: What should people at home be doing right now?
Dr. Michelson: "We have the Super Bowl Sunday coming up. I hope it's not Super Bowl-Spreader Sunday. This is a time when people often get together in large groups indoors to watch the game and share refreshments. Obviously, you can't have your masks on if you're eating and watching the game."
Casillas: What is the most eye-opening thing you’ve seen this week?
Dr. Michelson: "I'm very excited by the news coming out that we may soon have a third vaccine coming out from Johnson & Johnson. That would be a big help. The new J&J vaccine only requires one dose. That would make it much easier to vaccinate new patients. We should be able to get about 100,000,000 doses of the vaccine here in the U.S. by late Spring."
Casillas: What is your prediction for next week?
Dr. Michelson: "I'm encouraged this morning on the positivity rate of those people who are testing in the city actually dropped below 9% in many, many weeks. Since the beginning of January, we had been hovering between 9-11%. So today at 8.1%, that is encouraging and I hope that continues. If it does, that predicts that our number in the hospital will also drop in the next few weeks."
Casillas: What is giving you hope at this time?
Dr. Michelson: "I'm getting a lot of hope looking at national numbers. The number of patients in hospital across the U.S. is finally dropping. The number of deaths is finally dropping. I hope this trend continues for the whole country, not just for El Paso."
Casillas: What is your message to the Borderland?
Dr. Michelson: 'Keep wearing those masks. Avoid getting together in large groups. It's working. We have some new variants of the virus that may be circulating soon. It's important for those grab a foot-hold and give us a new surge this week."