UTSW Warns of Rising COVID Hospitalizations

Researchers at UT Southwestern warned this week that COVID-19 hospitalizations in Dallas and Tarrant Counties could exceed January surge levels in September.

They added that weekly admissions volumes among younger age groups have already exceeded their January peak.

“Increased hospitalizations reflect the large numbers of individuals who are not yet or cannot yet be vaccinated and are therefore particularly susceptible to infection,” researchers say.

There were 19 adult ICU beds available in Dallas County as of Friday, according to information reported to the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council.

In an attempt to ease the strain on hospitals, Gov. Greg Abbott announced last week that the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) will be deploying an additional 2,500 medical staff to support health care facilities, including hospitals and nursing homes, amid the summer surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

In addition, DSHS is providing medical equipment requested by Texas medical facilities including ventilators, oxygen concentrators, heart monitors, IV pumps, feeding pumps, and hospital beds. 

“The medical personnel and equipment deployed by DSHS will provide crucial support to our health care facilities as they treat hospitalized cases of COVID-19,” said Abbott. “Texans can do their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and hospitalizations by getting the vaccine. It’s safe, effective, and your best defense against COVID-19. Visit covidvaccine.texas.gov to find a vaccine provider near you.” 

Previously, 5,600 medical personnel, consisting mostly of nurses and respiratory therapists, were authorized for deployment. The additional staff announced last week brings the total number of medical personnel deployed across the state to 8,100. 

(READ: State Arranges For Out-of-State Medical Staff To Help Hospitals Amid COVID Surge)

The announcement also comes after Abbott earlier this month directed the DSHS to use staffing agencies to provide medical personnel from out-of-state to Texas health care facilities.

In other news:

  • Dallas is offering more vacation time for city employees who are vaccinated against COVID-19 and requiring fire department employees be regularly tested. Read more from the Dallas Morning News here.
  • Abbott also announced last week that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for a third round of federal Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) food benefits for families with children who have temporarily lost access to free or reduced-price school meals due to COVID-19. Read more here.
  • The Dallas Regional Chamber is inviting businesses to take the ‘best place for working parents’ self assessment.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *