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More Hospitalizations, Staffing Shortages As Texas Surge Of COVID-19 Cases Continue

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) — With COVID cases surging, hospital capacity is a growing concern.

"I will tell you in some of the rural counties, I was thinking of Hunt. I was thinking of Hood. I was thinking of Johnson County, just to name a few. They have no ICU beds," said Stephen Love, the President of the DFW Hospital Council.

According to the latest data from UT Southwestern Medical Center, hospital volumes in North Texas have gone up 99% over the last two weeks. They've gone up 346% over the past month. The DFW Hospital Council says COVID patients make up more than a third of the adult ICU patients, and about 95% of them are unvaccinated.

"We've got about 75 ICU beds in trauma service area E," Love said. "Stop and think. That's 8 million people, that's getting very low, very dangerous and it's even lower on the pediatric side."

Because of space constraints, Texas Health Rockwall is installing an air conditioned tent to accommodate an extra 10-15 patients. They also closed the North Emergency Department satellite campus to pull staff to their main hospital.

Hunt Regional Medical Center has tents set up outside their hospital as a triage area. The situation is also taking a toll on healthcare workers-

"We are really short on staffing and the staff we have are very tired," Love said.

Hospital admissions are rising in all age groups according to UT Southwestern. The fastest growth is in those ages 18-49. Researchers say with the current pace of hospitalizations, we could be above the January surge levels before September 1st.

The Governor is directing the Texas Division of Emergency Management to open more COVID-19 antibody infusion centers. Those are places that will treat patients who don't need hospitalization, and hopefully prevent their conditions from getting worse.

To help alleviate the pressure, he's also asking hospitals to voluntarily postpone certain elective medical procedures. The Department of State Health Services is planning to bring in medical personnel from out-of-state to help with the staffing situation.

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