AMARILLO, TX — The number of people tested positive for COVID-9 in Amarillo shot up 734 in just one day on Friday, May 15. The Amarillo Public Health Department attributed the massive increase to a “significant increase in testing volume.”
Friday’s results that showed the jump includes a large number of results from testing conducted by the Texas National Guard, the City of Amarillo stated in a press release.
“We have seen over the past few days a significant increase in testing due to a partnership between the state of Texas, the city and our local Tyson plant,” said Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson. “We are grateful for the additional testing resources from the state and the cooperation from Tyson and its employees.”
At the Tyson plant, 3,587 tests were performed. Of those tests, 2,280 are pending as of Friday. There have been 12,313 COVID-19 tests performed since the pandemic response began in March in the Amarillo Public Health Department’s region of responsibility that includes Randall and Potter Counties.
Of those tests results, the health department there is monitoring 1,765 people who had tested positive in Potter County and 450 in active monitoring in Randall County. There have been 27 total deaths in the health district’s area of responsibility.
Randall County, where Canyon is the county seat, has a population of 137,713. Potter County with Amarillo as its county seat has a population of 117,415.
What is impacting the Amarillo area is the number of meat processing plants. Amarillo is known as the “Beef Capitol of the World.”
Governor Greg Abbott stated in a press conference with President Donald Trump earlier this month that his primary focus is controlling the spread of the coronavirus in meat processing plants, senior citizen care centers, and prisons/jails. He has deployed his Coronavirus Task Force to various hot spots of COVID-19 infections to conduct mass testing. According to the Texas Tribune, the State agencies were augmented by a federal task force.