This Corpus Christi emergency room doctor wanted to protect his family from the risk of COVID-19. Now he lives in kids’ backyard treehouse.
Corpus Christi Caller Times
Local officials are seeing signs of strain on hospitals as COVID-19 cases continue exponential growth in the Coastal Bend.
On Monday, the number of COVID-19 patients in Corpus Christi hospitals was three times higher compared to Monday last week – from 28 patients hospitalized on a single day to 93.
For long stretches in the past, hospitalizations remained in the single digits.
Patients in the intensive care unit more than doubled – from 11 on Monday of last week to 29 on Monday this week, according to the public health district.
While Corpus Christi hospitals have bed and ventilator capacity, it’s staffing that has become a concern, Zanoni said.
“So at this point, we’re watching hospitals closely,” he said. “We’re not at the critical point, but we’re getting close.”
At Christus Spohn, the state has offered to supplement hospital staff with 20 nurses, wrote spokesman Kevin Dolliole in an email to the Caller-Times.
The hospital system is also working with the Coastal Bend Regional Advisory Council – an agency that helps coordinate emergency response – to potentially acquire more resources, he added.
“We are no doubt incredibly cognizant of the alarming increase of COVID-19 cases throughout the state and in Nueces County,” Dolliole wrote. “We are working diligently to ensure that our staffing continues to be sufficient for those needing inpatient care. There’s been a number of strategies we have undertaken in the last few days to meet the needs of the community.”
Among those strategies are offering full-time work for part-time registered nurses, and redeploying specialty nurses who work in other areas for Christus Spohn, Dolliole wrote.
On Monday, public health data showed Nueces County picking up about 1,400 new cases within the previous seven days. In all, there are a cumulative 2,120 lab-confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nueces County, reaching back to March.
If current trends continue, as many as 500 people may be hospitalized on a single day in July, according to a Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi researchers in a news conference Friday.
That is likely a very optimistic forecast, and would require heavy lifting in the community to put the brakes on, said Chris Bird, lead on the COVID-19 task force.
They hope what the models are showing is an overshoot, he added, noting that not all of the data align.
In the presentation, Bird did not show the worst-case scenario – what would represent the projected outcome if people changed none of their behavior to slow down transmission.
“It goes into such a high number of people that are requiring hospitalization and ICU care that I didn’t think was necessary to show,” he said. “Because, even with an optimistic projection, the outlook is undesirable.”
Kirsten Crow covers government, industry and development in South Texas.Support local news by checking out our subscription options and special offers at Caller.com/subscribe
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