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Largest Children's Hospital In The US Admits Adults As Virus Cases Soar In Texas

HOUSTON (CBSDFW/AP) - The largest pediatric hospital in the United States said Tuesday it has begun admitting adult patients to provide more hospital capacity in Texas, where coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to soar.

Texas Children's Hospital said it was admitting adult patients across its campuses to free up more hospital bed space in the Houston area.

The number of COVID-19-positive hospital patients in Harris County, which encompasses Houston, has nearly tripled since May 31.

"Our power on the local level was stripped away and we started opening up," Mayor Sylvester Turner said Monday. "I said two months ago I thought we were moving too quickly, too fast, and now we find ourselves where we are today."

Also Monday, Texas reached an 11th consecutive day of record COVID-19 hospitalizations. Gov. Greg Abbott called the trend "unacceptable" but did not announce any new measures to slow the spread of the virus.

In another development, the Texas Juvenile Justice Department said late Monday that a youth at the Giddings State School tested positive for COVID-19, marking the first confirmed case of the virus at a Texas juvenile detention facility.

It's the first positive case of a youth at a secure Texas Juvenile Justice Department facility, according to Camille Cain, the Executive Director.

He's currently in medical quarantine at Giddings with a fever but no other symptoms. His family was contacted by the agency, and he will remain on campus for treatment unless doctors determine that a hospital should admit him.

"I want the youth and his family to know that we will give him the best medical care that we can," Cain said. "Our agency has been preparing for the possibility of a positive youth case since the start of the pandemic, and we are well-positioned from a staffing and equipment standpoint to respond. Our priority is the health of this young man."

Cain said the agency is identifying any other juveniles or staff members at Giddings who might have had contact with the infected teen.

Anyone who did come into contact with him will receive a test, including workers. They will also have to self-isolate.

Since June 6, Giddings has had four workers test positive for COVID-19. None of their conditions were life-threatening.

Currently, five other juveniles are in quarantine at Giddings: three are awaiting test results and two will be tested Wednesday.

Since the start of the pandemic, the agency has administered 159 tests to juveniles in TJJD facilities.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the highly contagious virus can cause severe illness, including pneumonia, and be fatal.

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