This morning officials with the City of Amarillo and leaders from all the major healthcare operations hosted an emergency conference to update on the progress of the COVID-19 Delta variant in the Amarillo area and it's not good news

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The current numbers from the Amarillo Public Health Department which tracks both Randall and Potter County aren't looking good and the current active cases posted on the site is closing in on 2500. The positive test rate is hovering around 20 percent which according to officials at today's conference haven't been seen since December of last year.

So How Did We Get Here?

Alessandro Biascioli

The big concern for officials across all the healthcare systems here in Amarillo is while they have the bed space to handle the caseload currently they don't have the staffing levels to handle the load that they are seeing on top of trauma not related to the Delta Variant. That and the lower vaccination rate here in the Amarillo area has also helped the disease spread quickly among those who aren't vaccinated. Officials urged citizens not only of Amarillo but the entire Panhandle area to continue towards getting the vaccine.

Code Red Returns

Because the steady and consistent rise in cases, Officials with Amarillo Public Health have moved the region back in to Code Red protocols. Since it's been a minute since we've been here how about a refresher. The city advises folks to

  • Practice Social Distancing
  • Use Face Masks in Public Settings
  • Practice enhanced hygiene and cleaning routines
  • Avoid Social Gatherings
  • Avoid Non Essential Travel
  • Avoid Non Essential Interactions.

There is still a recommended two week quarantine for those who are unvaccinated. City officials also made it clear they are aware of the Governor's ban on mandates and the protocols are strictly voluntary but highly encouraged.

Mayor Nelson did speak on the governor's mandate asking folks to pray for him as decisions like mandates are not easy to make. She did acknowledge that she is however continuing to follow local guidance

It's not a question of politically how we feel about it or do we think the governor is making the right choice, my response is always to pray for the governor. He's in a really hard place. Otherwise, decisions. Texas is a big state. It is difficult for one person to make a decision that is the right choice for the entire state of Texas but I'm listening to what our local doctors and our local professionals and experts are asking us to do locally, our efforts. our Energy is best spent listening to our doctors, putting all our efforts by what they're asking us to do.

The city of Amarillo also has a full list of locations that are offering the vaccine.

The 806's Strange & Screwed Up Crimes Of 2021.....So Far

It's 2021 and folks are making up for staying indoors and following the law all throughout 2020. This isn't always a good thing, though. There have been quite a few odd, wacky, and outright grotesque crimes committed in the Texas Panhandle this year so far.

From Friona to Lubbock, there's plenty of bad behavior on display throughout the 806 in 2021.

Take a look at what these hellions have gotten themselves into:

Always Prepared: Check Out These Doomsday Bunkers in Texas

I'm not the kind of guy who believes that at any moment the whole of everything is going to go up in flames. If I was, and I had an extreme amount of disposable income, I would want to spend the apocalypse in one of these insane bunkers you can get right here in the Lone Star State.

Ranchotel: The Forgotten Landmark of Old Route 66 in Amarillo, Texas

The Ranchotel, located at 2501 W. 6th St., is a product of Route 66's heyday.

When Americans first began long-distance automotive travel, they typically stayed in hotels or camped beside the road. In response, clever entrepreneurs began to build what were called tourist courts. The Ranchotel is one of these.

It was built in 1940 and until recently, it was considered one of the best preserved examples of Route 66's tourist facilities. It was placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1995 and was well maintained until 2020.

Even now, in spite of the building's fading beauty, there is still the nostalgic air held by many a historic landmark.