Healthcare providers say this means that whether or not they have COVID, some patients may not be able to get the care they need.
HOUSTON – Houston CEO of Memorial Hermann told KHOU 11 News Tuesday that with the current coronavirus hospitalization rate in our area, hospitals could be “overwhelmed” in just two weeks.
Stephanie Whitfield of KHOU 11 reported that 40% of TMC’s ICU beds are currently COVID patients.
During the summer 2020 surge in cases where we saw about 4,000-5,000 new cases of COVID in the state of Texas every day, Dr. David Callender, CEO of Memorial Hermann, that there are still enough beds available. However, the current spike may be a different story.
RELATED: Where to Get Vaccinated in the Houston Area
CONNECTED: Many come to a dead end while trying to schedule a vaccination appointment
Now we’re seeing about 15,000 new COVID cases across the state every day, with more than 10,000 ongoing hospitalizations as of early January.
Not from hospital beds – for now
“When we’re overwhelmed, which means we simply don’t have enough beds and staff to meet full hospitalization needs, people can’t get the care they need,” Callender said Tuesday. “We are not going to be able to take good care of people with COVID or any other illness, and that is very problematic.”
“We’re not out of bed today, but if we keep growing at this rate – when I say growth, I mean the number of cases, the number of hospitalizations for COVID patients, we could easily be there in the next few weeks. ”
On Monday, the Texas Medical Center in Houston announced it had admitted about 300 new coronavirus patients – a similar daily number to the week before. For the past month, the hospital system gave up about 200 patients a day.
Another growing problem is that hospital staff are burned out even when beds and rooms are available.
Look back for updates on this story and check out KHOU 11 News for Stephanie Whitfield’s story.
Also on Tuesday, the Trump administration urged states to expedite the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to those 65 years of age and those at high risk by no longer withholding the second dose of the two-dose shots.
The Minister of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, said: “The administration in the states has been too tightly focused.” The White House urges states to vaccinate people 65 and older and those under 65 with underlying health conditions that put them at high risk. He said vaccine production is such that the second dose of the two-shot vaccine can be released without compromising immunization for those who received the first shot.
“We now believe our manufacturing is predictable enough to ensure that second cans are available to people from ongoing production,” Azar told ABC’s Good Morning America. Read more about the introduction of national vaccines here.
The Associated Press and Stephanie Whitfield of KHOU 11 contributed to this report