OakBend Medical Center reported 40 people tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday, Jan. 21. OakBend CEO Joe Freudenberger said this is coming close to what OakBend had in July 2020 when it peaked with 49 patients testing positive in one day.

OakBend has facilities in Wharton, and also in Fort Bend County.

Freudenberger was a guest speaker at the Wharton Lions Club luncheon on Thursday. The COVID-19 information conveyed to Lions Club members continued later in the day when he spoke about “spreader events.” 

Freudenberger said there is a surge in COVID-19 cases and the reason why was the holidays.

“The numbers continues to climb; we have 12 more patients in our ICU,” he said. “We also have two patients with COVID in our emergency room.”

Freudenberger said people need to follow protocol that has been set by health authorities like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to combat the disease. 

“I believe what we are seeing now is the tail end of the Thanksgiving spreader event,” he said. “We still have the possibility that the Christmas/New Year spreader events and the consequences of hospitalizations are yet to come.”

He thinks in mid-February OakBend will begin seeing more hospitalizations due to people not following protocol in late December and early January.


OakBend received doses of the vaccination, but they will be limited. 

“We received enough doses to vaccinate those who received their first dose at OakBend,” Freudenberger said.

Those in Wharton County who did receive a vaccination through OakBend will be notified by text only about when and where to go to receive a second dose. Freudenberger said persons have seven days to respond.

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