Hospital bed shortage in Southeast Texas Houston continues as the area sets a record of new daily COVID-19 positive cases. The number of cases reported has been the highest recorded since the beginning of the pandemic.
According to Executive V.P. of Houston Methodist Roberta Schwartz, “Sunday, through the day, and Sunday through the night, we had a very rough sharp turn upwards so we are dealing once again with some record numbers.”
Data reported by the Texas Medical Center shows that on Sunday, 9,217 people tested positive for the COVID-19 virus in the Greater Houston Area. TMC was reported that they admitted 365 new COVID-19 patients. 2, 650 COVID-19 positive patients are currently in the hospitals, Click 2 Houston reported.
On Monday afternoon, around 850 of the 2, 650 COVID-19 patients are at the Houston Methodist hospitals and about 200 patients are waiting for hospital beds to become available.
Schwartz said that there are 193 patients in their emergency rooms waiting for hospital beds. 45% of these are COVID-19 patients. In a report by KPRC 2 last week, the Southeast Texas region is suffering from an unprecedented hospital bed shortage.
The Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Committee, which comprises 25-counties centered in Houston, reported Monday that more than 700 patients with hospital admission orders were waiting for available beds. 613 of the 700 patients are waiting for a non-ICU bed and 278 of them are COVID-19 positive. 107 patients are waiting for an ICU bed and 45 of which tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
“The problem is, while we have the beds on paper, we don’t have the nursing staff to actually put those beds to use,” said SETRAC CEO Darrell Pile. “As soon as the state and others help us attract more agency nurses, contract nurses from other states, then we will have that staff to put that capacity, that extra capacity, to use.”
The Texas Department of State Health Services reported that there are around 2,000 agency nurses who arrived at full capacitated hospitals all over the state since the beginning of August. 2, 500 additional nurses are expected by the end of the week.
Pile also said that they are hoping to see some of the numbers to relax in the next two weeks but admitted that the problem is not going to go away.
“We are dreadfully worried about what will happen with children and even college students now that school has started. We could have the biggest mass of kids and young adults ever in history, so we are preparing for that in hopes that we are overprepared,” Pile said.