Coronavirus

While hospitalizations and positive cases rise, the concern is growing over available ICU beds in certain regions

The number of COVID-19 cases are continuing to increase at an alarming rate across Texas. Officials at the county and hospital district level have continue to be hit by public scrutiny as trust in both has long since faded due in part to private clinics complaining that testing numbers are being improperly reported, unverified counts, conflicting data, and misrepresentation that are being played to simply save face. But while trust in health district and hospital leadership may have long faded, data from the Department of State Health Services shows that there is reason to be concerned.

Nueces County falls into Trauma Region “U.” As to 2:00 pm on Tuesday, the total number of staffed hospital beds in the region were 1,272. Of those, the state reported that 306 of those beds in the region were available.

The state also reported 13 available ICU beds being available in the region and on Monday, officials said that Nueces County alone had 11 patients in the ICU.

Health District officials like to downplay those numbers, but down playing them is partly why area residents have lost all faith and trust in them.

Nurses who work at area hospitals confirm that staff and bed shortages are becoming more of a problem here locally than citizens realize.

Staff members say that they have been instructed not to reveal such information even to their own families. But on Tuesday, staff began raising their concerns after they say that the public needs to know.

The claims from local staff members are backed up by DSHS raw data that was made available on Tuesday.

The Department of State Health Services says that they do have contingency plans in place in the event that hospitals become completely overwhelmed.

Places such as convention centers and hotels and motels would be considered options, according to Dr. John Zerwas, who is leading the Governor’s strike force on the issue.

At a press conference on Monday Gov. Abbott maintained that statewide there seems to be plenty of available beds. However, late Monday night announcements began coming that several major hospitals were reporting that they were nearing capacity.

Locally, there was no direct indication either way. However, nurses and staff here are telling a different story and that is seemingly being backed up by data.

This is a developing story.

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