After Saying It Was Near Capacity, Houston Hospital System Stops Reporting Key Metrics In COVID Care
The sudden rise in cases across Texas is drawing concerns and questions about the governor's policies as the state moved quickly to reopen.
Claiming Confusion, Texas Medical Center Changes How It Reports ICU Capacity Amid COVID-19
Texas Medical Center hospitals stopped updating key metrics showing the stress rising numbers of COVID-19 patients were placing on their facilities for more than three days, rattling policymakers and residents who have relied on the information to gauge the spread of the coronavirus. The institutions — which together constitute the world’s largest medical complex — reported Thursday that their base intensive care capacity had hit 100 percent for the first time during the pandemic and was on pace to exceed an “unsustainable surge capacity” of intensive care beds by July 6. (Morris and Despart, 6/28)
Houston Hospitals Stop Reporting COVID-19-Related Data After Reaching Base ICU Capacity: Report
Data released by a major Houston hospital system no longer includes information about the hospital system's ICU capacity, a change reportedly made just a day after it previously was updated to show the hospitals reaching 100 percent base capacity due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Charts updated daily by the Texas Medical Center, a hospital system with locations in downtown Houston, contained a warning as of Sunday that an "upward trajectory of new daily cases" was continuing, and indicated that the surge in patients to the ICU "supports future ICU resource planning." However, no indications of when the hospital system would reach capacity were available. (Bowden, 6/28)
'This Is A Wake-Up Call': Houston ICU Doctor Applauds Abbott, Hidalgo For New COVID-19 Orders
As Texas grapples with 5,994 new COVID-19 cases reported on Thursday, Houston Methodist's ICU doctors have been preparing for the influx of patients. Houston Methodist's ICU capacity has now reached 82 percent, and the hospital has added 19 ICU beds, according to hospital officials. "These are not good numbers," Houston Methodist ICU Director Dr. Faisal Masud said. "The action that the governor took about closing the bars and restaurants is a good move. People in the last month have become complacent." (Medley, 6/26)
Houston Hospitals Seeing Surge In Coronavirus Admissions
As COVID-19 cases in Texas continue to surge, young people appear to be the driving force. ... Dr. Marc Boom, president and CEO of Houston Methodist Hospital, which is part of the Texas Medical Center, told NPR's All Things Considered that there's been a shift in the patients at his hospital. In the beginning of the pandemic, about 60% of people with COVID-19 in the hospital were over 50 years old, and 40% were younger, Boom said. Now that has "completely flipped," he said. (Silva, 6/26)
Dallas Morning News:
Texas Closed Bars And Curbed Restaurants. Will That Be Enough To Stop The Coronavirus Surge?
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who oversaw one of the country’s most aggressive reopenings, is now backtracking amid a record surge of coronavirus cases. Bars are closed again. Restaurants can be only half full. And no one can rent an inner tube to float down the state’s rivers. Yet scores of other venues that can hasten the spread of the virus remain open, including gyms, camps, amusement parks and churches. Abbott is pleading for people to wear face masks, but not requiring it. (Hacker, Morris and Ambrose, 6/28)
Dallas Morning News:
Jenkins Asks Governor To Require Masks In Texas As Dallas County Reports Record 570 Coronavirus Cases
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has sent a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott asking him to implement a mandatory mask requirement for the state as the county reported a record high 570 coronavirus cases Sunday. ... In the letter, dated June 27, Jenkins also asked Abbott to reinstitute the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order for 30 days in addition to requiring masks for the state or specific regions. The letter detailed recommendations from the Public Health Committee, a group composed of local epidemiologists, infectious-disease doctors, hospital executives and other health experts. (Keomoungkhoun, 6/28)
Gov. Abbott Gambled Texas' Reopening On Contact Tracing. Here’s How It Went Bust.
Gov. Greg Abbott was certain that contact tracing would help dig Texas out from the worst of the coronavirus pandemic.As he prepared to reopen the state in late April, the governor boasted that more than 1,000 tracers were in place to track down infections and advise anyone exposed to stay home. A website was up and running. Within weeks, thousands more tracers would be deployed and the technology to manage their progress available statewide. (Blackman, 6/26)
The Wall Street Journal:
Texas Tried Reopening Offices Early. It Was Hard Even Before The Coronavirus Surge.
Texas got back to work faster than most states. It now serves as a warning to the nation: reopening offices and other businesses may be messier and more prone to disruption than many imagined. (Eaton and Cutter, 6/28)