Houston Area Sees Growing Concerns Over COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Officials from the greater Houston area are expressing concerns as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase, the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council (SETRAC) has said in a report. 

Photo credit: NPR

According to Darrell Pile, CEO of SETRAC, the rising numbers of COVID-positive cases and the increasing hospitalizations for the past two weeks have been the highest extended duration in their history, Click 2 Houston reported.

He said that it is a “dire time” for Houston because the numbers keep rising. He also shared that these numbers entail more work from the already exhausted staff of the hospitals in the area.

“This is not good news in our numbers. I’m not encouraged at all. We have some terrific needs at some of our hospitals in the nursing staff and the physicians and everybody … the housekeeping staff … they’re exhausted and there’s no one to replace them,” Pile claimed. 

SETRAC has reported the following numbers for the 25-county regions:

  • An all-time high COVID census in general beds with a total 3,055 patients.
  • 3,000 in-house COVID patients since August 17.
  • ICU beds at 47% capacity housing 1,047 COVID patients.
  • 108 children were hospitalized in five different children’s hospitals on September 7, and an additional 28 pediatric patients requiring intensive care due to COVID.
Photo credit: Wall Street Journal

Meanwhile, the president of the Harris Health System, Esmaeil Porsa, shared that their numbers are plateauing, but it is still high.  

“This is no time to celebrate or high-five or take a vacation. Things are still very dire,” Porsa said, adding: “We are at a point where we are literally running out of space inside hospitals. You can throw another 200 nurses at me and there’s nothing I can do with them.”

Health officers particularly expressed concern regarding hospitals in areas with low vaccination rates as they tend to be overwhelmed with cases.