November 24, 2020

COVID-19 Community Letter

November 24, 2020

Odessa is at a critical juncture and what we do today affects what happens to our community and to our economy. Both Medical Center Hospital and Odessa Regional Medical Center are at full capacity and the number of COVID-19 patients are increasing. As of today, 118 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized  in Odessa. Thirty of those are on ventilators.  These numbers continue to rise, which unfortunately  means we could suffer more deaths of our friends, family, employees and neighbors. Our healthcare facilities are stretched to the max with depleting supplies and critically low staffing numbers. Our healthcare workers are exhausted, yet they continue to work long hours to provide care for all patients.

For the past week, the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity has exceeded 15%. Governor Greg Abbott's Executive Order 32 now requires all Odessa and Ector County businesses to decrease capacity to 50% occupancy. It will remain that way until the number of COVID-19 hospitalized patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity is less than 15% for at least seven consecutive days.

It is imperative that our community work together to slow the spread, lower the hospital rate and decrease the number of COVID-19 cases. The Odessa Chamber of Commerce, the Odessa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Black Chamber of Commerce of the Permian Basin are imploring local businesses to promote and enforce the Governor's July Executive Order,  requiring all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases.

With the Holidays upon us, our Chambers want to keep Odessa open for business! It is important that we support our local businesses and restaurants as they continue to battle this pandemic and economic downturn. We are asking everyone to take extra steps to ensure our economy stays open:

  1. Everyone: Adhere to the mask mandate
    • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when inside, and outdoors when you cannot maintain six feet of social distance.
  2. Businesses:  Promote and enforce the mask mandate
    • Require that all employees and all patrons wear masks.
  3. Limit activities to groups of no more than 10 people
    • Wear masks and social distance

You have an important role to play. Be socially accountable and personally responsible.

What we do today and how we respond affects our community two weeks from now. Let's partner together to make this Holiday season the best it can be despite this pandemic. Our actions can help us get to 2021 safely.

The hospitals and healthcare workers are NOT the frontline, YOU are! Wear a mask, maintain social distancing and keep our economy open! It' s a small price to pay until the vaccine is available.

#MaskUp  #KeepOdessaOpen


Renee' Earls,
President/CEO Odessa Chamber of Commerce                 

Chris Walker, President/CEO
Black Chamber of Commerce of the Permian Basin                           

Stacey Brown, CEO
Odessa Regional Medical Center

Dr. Greg Williams, President
Odessa College

David Turner, Mayor
City of Odessa

Dr. Ben Quiroz, Board Chair
Odessa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Russell Tippin, CEO
Medical Center Hospital                   

Dr. Scott Muri, Superintendent

Dr. Sandra Woodley, President
UT Permian Basin

Debi Hays, County Judge
Ector County