Media Coverage for November 2020

Week of November 28 to November 30

GUEST VIEW: A reason to give thanks

OA Online - Nov. 29, 2020

By Chancellor Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D. The holidays are upon us, and as is customary, many of our friends, families and loved ones will be joining together to celebrate the season. While this may seem an odd year and difficult time for gratitude, I believe there’s no more important moment to pause and reflect on the many blessings around us—some of which have come into sharp relief in recent weeks and months.

Learn More

Previous Weeks in November

Health experts warn of Black Friday shopping risks, but many El Pasoans head to stores anyway

KVIA - Nov. 27, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control has categorized shopping among crowds this holiday season as a high-risk activity. "You're really taking a risk that is, in my opinion, not justified for the amount of money you are going to save," said Dr. Armando Meza, chief of infectious diseases at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. "Believe me. Being sick is going to be a lot more expensive financially, emotionally and in your health than saving a couple of dollars.

Learn More

El Paso health expert says COVID-19 trends promising if El Pasoans stay home for holidays

Fox 29 - Nov. 25, 2020

El Paso health experts said coronavirus hospitalizations appear to be leveling off, but trends could change over the holidays Dr. Ed Michelson, the Emergency Department Chair at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center of El Paso said while it appears the worst is behind us, when it comes to new hospital admissions- the situation is still bad in the ICU. Dr. Michelson said he's concerned that the number of ICU patients has not dropped below 300.

Learn More

1st patient receiving Covid-19 antibody infusion at El Paso Convention Center hospital

KVIA - Nov. 24, 2020

The bamlanivimab infusion wing accepted its first patient on Tuesday afternoon. A Hispanic man, said to be under the age of 65, was selected by doctors at University Medical Center for the three-hour treatment process. The therapy has been shown to prevent hospitalizations in some patients when used before they become very sick. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Armando Meza told ABC-7 that these antibody treatments work similarly to a vaccine in the sense they provide antibodies against a virus.

Learn More

Texas Tech Health Sciences doctor explains new COVID-19 infusion treatment

KFOX - Nov. 24, 2020

Early Tuesday evening, the first El Pasoan was brought to the convention center to receive a potentially life-saving treatment called bamlanivimab. Bamlanivimab is a COVID-19 antibody treatment approved for emergency use just two weeks ago. “Bamlanivimab is a monoclonal antibody that attaches to the COVID-19 virus in the body and prevents it from attaching to cells within the body,” Dr. Edward Michelson, Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center said.

Learn More

‘Keep everyone safe’: El Paso psychologist offers tips on having a meaningful holiday while apart

KVIA.com - Nov. 24, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges Americans to stay home and celebrate only with those in the same household. The agency warns that gathering with friends and family in other households can increase the risk of spreading the virus. A local psychologist says technology can help, especially video chat platforms like FaceTime and Zoom. To spice up a normal video call, Dr. Melanie Longhurst, a psychologist with Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso, recommends adding in a virtual activity. Dr. Longhurst recommends cooking the same recipe with others virtually at the same time.

Learn More

Border Families Cope With Deadly COVID-19 Surge This Holiday Season

Texas Standard - Nov. 23, 2020

Dr. Armando Meza, Chief of infectious Diseases at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in El Paso wants all families to understand that message. “Families in the Hispanic population where we really like to meet, and we like to hug each other and interact and all that, it is an unfortunate situation because it puts us at a very high risk for becoming infected,” said Meza. Dr. Meza knows that family dynamic well. He has relatives in both El Paso and Juarez. While strong families are the backbone of border communities, those bonds can also increase the risk for COVID. The virus can spread like wildfire through large extended families.

Learn More

A young family lost their husband and father to COVID-19. They are coping with grief as the holidays approach

KTSM - Nov. 22, 2020

Dr. Fabrizzio Delgado, division chief for the psychiatry consult service at Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso, said there is no right or wrong way to go through the grieving process. Delgado said the stages of grief such as depression, denial, anger, acceptance and bargaining do not necessarily occur in the same order for everyone. For some people, the stages may be intertwined, he said.

Learn More

A vaccine isn’t enough to defeat COVID-19

Facebook - Nov. 21, 2020

UTEP President Heather Wilson and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso President Richard Lange co-wrote an op-ed in The Dallas Morning News about different strategies to fight COVID-19. Read here: https://utepn.ws/3nJegfH

Learn More

El Paso groans under the weight of a massacre and then a deadly pandemic, but the spirit goes on

The Dallas Morning News - Nov. 21, 2020

“Our community hasn’t had time to process grief, of either the Aug. 3 massacre, and now COVID-19, and that’s worrisome because we’re seeing worsening symptoms of PTSD that will be with us for a long time,” said Dr. Fabrizzio Delgado, a psychiatrist at the University Medical Center of El Paso and an assistant professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. “Things are probably going to get worse before they get better as deaths spike. And so when they get better, that’s when you’re going to start seeing the emotional scarring around us.”

Learn More

Negative COVID-19 test doesn't mean you can gather, experts say

News4SA - Nov. 20,2020

An infectious disease specialist in El Paso says a negative COVID-19 test does not mean it is safe to gather with loved ones.As the holidays approach, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises people not to gather with people they do not live with. Dr. Armando Meza is the chief infectious disease specialist for Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in El Paso. Meza said tests are not fully trustworthy

Learn More

‘The risk is going to be there’: El Paso infectious disease doctor issues warning about Thanksgiving travel

KVIA - Nov. 20, 2020

Dr. Meza said traveling by private car can be less risky if individuals pay close to attention to exposure risks when stopping on the road. He also urged the community to consider where they are staying upon arrival to a destination. Dr. Meza suggested many Airbnb properties will have less people around, but hotel chains could have more advanced cleaning protocols. Thanksgiving dinner can also include risks even for those not traveling outside their community. CDC officials have cited small, household gatherings as a reason for increasing cases.

Learn More

Hard-hit by COVID-19, Latinos bear mental health burden 8 months into pandemic

NBC News - Nov. 20, 2020

For Dr. Fabrizzio Delgado, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, the growing mental health toll the pandemic has taken on Latinos in his community has become more apparent since October, when a rise in coronavirus cases and deaths made El Paso, Texas, the new epicenter of the pandemic. More than 80 percent of the city’s population is Hispanic.

Learn More

‘Much harder to get a good outcome when people stay home’: El Paso doctor warns non-Covid patients are delaying essential care

KVIA - Nov. 19, 2020

The number of coronavirus patients in El Paso remains at a near record high. However, even as hospitals are strained due to the pandemic, some health experts are warning that non-Covid patients may be delaying life-saving care. Dr. Edward Michelson, an emergency room physician affiliated with University Medical Center and Chair of Emergency Medicine at TTUHSC El Paso, said the number of patients in the emergency department is lower than it was a year ago. He cites a drop in non-COVID patients who he believes may be delaying emergency visits due to fears of the virus.

Learn More

New Covid-19 therapy could help El Paso's hospitals meet demand

Headline News - Nov.18, 2020

A local infectious disease expert said antibody treatments work similarly to a vaccine in the sense they provide antibodies against a virus. He warns these antibodies may not be long-lasting and patients who receive such therapies may also require a vaccine too for immunity. “Antibody protection really happens at the early stages of the infection, so if you’re going to get this treatment, it’s going to have to be within the first few days of becoming symptomatic or infected,” said Dr. Armando Meza, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. “Only patients who are at particularly high risk of having severe complications will be the ones who will be given these antibodies.”

Learn More

New Covid-19 therapy could help El Paso’s hospitals meet demand

KVIA - Nov.17

A local infectious disease expert said antibody treatments work similarly to a vaccine in the sense they provide antibodies against a virus. He warns these antibodies may not be long-lasting and patients who receive such therapies may also require a vaccine too for immunity. “Antibody protection really happens at the early stages of the infection, so if you're going to get this treatment, it's going to have to be within the first few days of becoming symptomatic or infected,” said Dr. Armando Meza, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. “Only patients who are at particularly high risk of having severe complications will be the ones who will be given these antibodies.”

Learn More

El Paso hospital official says care is being rationed as county judge rallies support for shutdown during COVID-19 crisis

The Dallas Morning News - Nov. 16, 2020

Dr. Edward Michelson, chief of emergency medicine at the University Medical Center and a professor at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, said, “I do see an end (to the crisis) but I don’t know when it’s coming. Even in a marathon, you know ... you have to have time to drink some water, get some nutrition. Here, the hospitals are simply reaching their capacity.” Michelson said the city and county, with help from the state government, “have done an amazing job in adding capacity” over the past eight weeks, adding up to “600 new hospital beds.”

Learn More

El Pasoan gets COVID-19 a second time, doctors say it is uncommon but possible

KTSM - Nov. 16, 2020

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Chief of Infectious Diseases Dr. Armando Meza said it is possible for patients who recover from the virus to get re-infected. “Now will everyone respond the same? The answer is no — most patients will respond with a defense response that will protect them from getting infected again,” Meza said. However, there is a difference between re-infection and long-term effects from the initial positive test.

Learn More

El Paso Grapples With Surge: 'We Are Busting at the Seams'

Medpage - Nov. 13, 2020

Although new cases dipped in the past couple of days, there were still close to 30,000 active cases as of Nov. 12. More than 1,000 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19, accounting for more than half of hospital admissions in the city, said Richard Lange, MD, president of Texas Tech University Health Science Center in El Paso. "We don't see the end in sight," Lange told MedPage Today. "This has been going on since April, so we're now 7 months in.... For the people sitting on the frontlines in the ICU, it's emotionally draining."

Learn More

UTEP Health Care Students learn to work together online during Pandemic

El Paso Herald-Post - Nov. 12, 2020

Since 2017, nearly 1,800 UTEP health care students and medical students from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) El Paso Paul L. Foster School of Medicine have engaged in IPE experiences developed by the Health-Focused Interprofessional Education Community of Practice at UTEP. The group consists of faculty from the College of Health Sciences and the schools of Nursing and Pharmacy. During the IPE experience, students from different health disciplines work collaboratively to address the health care needs of an imaginary patient from a vulnerable population. They discuss their roles, learn from each other, and work synergistically to determine the best care possible for the patient. Students learn to work as an interprofessional team and apply this knowledge to their future practice.

Learn More

Slowing COVID-19 spread is only way to fix El Paso’s hospital crisis, emergency medicine expert says

El Paso Matters - Nov. 12, 2020

As El Paso’s COVID-19 crisis continues, an emergency medicine expert warns hospitals may run out of space to treat those affected by the pandemic. Dr. Edward Michelson, chair of emergency medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, gave El Paso Matters a candid view on Tuesday about what may happen if cases do not decline significantly. He treats patients at University Medical Center. 

Learn More

Millions of federal, state aid sent to El Paso as it becomes new epicenter of COVID-19

KFOX 14 - Nov. 12, 2020

More medical personnel, 35 more hospital beds, and personal protective equipment have all been shipped into the El Paso region, as the COVID-19 crisis shatters Texas records and claims lives. “El Paso County is a lot smaller than the counties around Houston, Dallas, that’s particularly concerning,” said Dr. Edward Michelson, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Paul Foster School of Medicine, at Texas Tech University Health Science Center.

Learn More

As Hospitalizations Soar, El Paso Brings In New Mobile Morgues

The New York Times - Nov. 10, 2020

The majority of infections in El Paso have come, health officials said, from local community transmission, especially within multigenerational families who often live together or come together frequently to shop or visit. “We have seen multiple members of families coming in, usually on different days,” said Dr. Edward Michelson, chief of emergency medicine at the University Medical Center and a professor at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

Learn More

Interested in boosting your health during these coming months?

El Paso Border Coalition for Fitness - Nov. 6, 2020

Interested in boosting your health during these coming months? We recently spoke with Dr. Armando Meza, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, and learned how exercise can help protect you from feeling the more serious effects of COVID-19. Check out the interview below! Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso Live Active EP #asktheexpert #stepbystep #getfit #holiday2020

Learn More

Built in the Borderland

KFOX TV - Nov. 2, 2020

Last night's episode of "Built in the Borderland" focused on the breakdown between the City and County of El Paso when it comes to an emergency response to our coronvavirus crisis, specifically the situation at our local hosptials. The episode includes conversations with local health experts, policy makers and business owners. (Includes interviews with Dee Margo, Peter Svarzbein, David Stout, Wing Daddy's Sauce House - Mesa, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, Oge Alozie)

Learn More

Covid-19: Mientras contagios y muertes van en aumento, autoridades de El Paso y procurador de Texas riñen sobre medidas para contener pandemia

The Dallas Morning News - Nov. 2, 2020

Un reconocido médico de El Paso advirtió que covid está abrumando tanto las instalaciones médicas que le preocupa empezara “racionar la atención médica”.“Continuará la expansión" de contagios, dijo el Dr. Richard Lange, presidente del Centro de Ciencias de la Salud de la universidad Texas Tech en El Paso. “Tal vez no lo veamos ahorita, pero obviamente si no controlamos (la pandemia) eso sucederá”.

Learn More

Leaders clash as El Paso death toll rises and coronavirus swamps hospital

The Dallas Morning News - Nov. 2, 2020

A top physician in El Paso warned that COVID-19 is overwhelming medical facilities so much that he worries about having “to ration health care.”“We’re continuing to expand,” in terms of cases, said Dr. Richard Lange, president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. “It’s not on the immediate horizon, but obviously if we don’t get this under control at some point that will happen.”

Learn More

El Paso infectious disease expert offers tips for reducing risk at restaurants, stores

KVIA Ch. 7 - Nov. 2, 2020

A local infectious disease expert with Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso says there are some reasons that risk can be heightened in these locations. City data shows that the highest amount of virus exposures, 37%, is coming from retail stores. Dr. Armando Meza said stores can be risky environments due to the amount of exposures an individual might encounter. The CDC recently redefined what it means to have “close contact” with an infected individual. The agency had previously defined that contact as 15 minutes, but U.S. officials now say repeated, brief encounters can spread the virus too. While Dr. Meza said there is no way to completely eliminate the risk, he said there are ways to reduce it.

Learn More