Raging virus cases in El Paso now strain health care system statewide
AUSTIN, Texas — The crush of the coronavirus surge in El Paso has the city sending its non-Covid-19 cases to hospitals elsewhere in the state, and officials say it is straining health care capacities statewide.
El Paso confirmed 994 new Covid-19 cases and 13 new deaths Wednesday, and Austin Mayor Steve Adler confirmed that Austin-area hospitals are receiving non-coronavirus patients from overwhelmed hospitals in Borderland.
Adler said that El Paso was in a “world of hurt” and that numbers in Dallas, San Antonio and Houston were “scarier than ours, and our numbers are scary enough by themselves.”
El Paso’s health care systems became overwhelmed even after the state sent additional medical resources, Adler said. He added that he was concerned that if Dallas, Houston and San Antonio hospitals also required help, Austin’s resources would have little to no capacity to treat its own cases if its Covid-19 numbers reached a similar level.
“We have patients in our hospitals right now that don’t have the virus but needed hospitalizations, and they are here from El Paso because there was no room,” Adler said.
State health officials reported 7,841 Covid-19 patients are currently, the most since early August and about double the hospitalizations of a month ago.
Officials in Harris County, where Houston is located, have warned that the number of Covid-19 cases and related hospitalizations locally is increasing and the trends resemble what the area saw right before June and July when the county saw a large spike in cases that filled up hospitals.
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, who has been critical of the state’s handling of the pandemic and its limits on local jurisdictions’ ability to implement rules during the crisis, said residents should be asking more of all levels of government.
“That’s why we need the state to step in and lead or get out of the way and let us lead,” she said.
“I am concerned by what’s happening in El Paso and seeing that they’ve got no recourse, that they’re having to pull up those mobile morgues, that hospitals are overwhelmed, stories of tragedy,” Hidalgo said. “I don’t want that to happen here and that’s why we’re having this conversation to try and avoid that fate.”
The post Raging virus cases in El Paso now strain health care system statewide appeared first on KVIA.