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This state is ‘frightened by what is coming’ next with the COVID surge

Texas has seen an influx of hospitalization and COVID-19 cases. Officials are worried about what could happen next

A construction crew at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Houston.
A construction crew sets up tents that hospital officials plan to use with an overflow of COVID-19 patients outside of the Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital on Monday, Aug. 9, 2021, in Houston.
Godofredo A. Vásquez, Houston Chronicle via AP

More than 10,000 coronavirus patients have been admitted to Texas hospitals during the last week, which has put a strain on the state’s hospital system amid the latest COVID-19 surge, The New York Times reports.

How bad is COVID in Texas?

  • Right now, 53 Texas hospitals are at maximum capacity in their intensive care units.
  • Two hospitals have created overflow tents outside for more patients.
  • Austin, Texas, recently sent out an emergency alert to its people about the massive COVID-19 surge, as I wrote for the Deseret News.
  • San Antonio has seen cases rise to “alarming levels not seen in months,” per The New York Times.

Why Texas COVID-19 surge is bad

Dr. Esmaeil Porsa, president and chief executive of the Harris Health System, in Houston, told Texas lawmakers on Tuesday that the state is running out of options.

  • “If this continues, and I have no reason to believe that it will not, there is no way my hospital is going to be able to handle this. There is no way the region is going to be able to handle this,” Porsa told state legislators. “I am one of those people that always sees the glass half-full, I always see the silver lining. But I am frightened by what is coming.”

Porsa, the doctor who spoke with state lawmakers, told CNN he was surprised that the hospitalized patient numbers jumped to its recent peak. He said it took three months to reach those peak levels during winter 2020.

  • “If this continues to go at the rate that it is right now — and again, I emphasize that I don’t see any intervention, any mitigating interventions being put in place to try to slow this down — this would be a disaster,” he told CNN.

Is Texas Gov. Greg Abbott doing anything about COVID?

To deal with the crisis, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that more than 2,500 medical personnel would be sent to hospitals around the state to take care of new COVID-19 patients, according to CNN.

  • “The State of Texas is taking action to ensure that our hospitals are properly staffed and supported in the fight against COVID-19,” Abbott said Wednesday in a new release, CNN reports.