College Station mayor talks hospital capacity, further COVID-19 surge plans on BVTM

Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 11:40 AM CST
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - College Station Mayor Karl Mooney joined Brazos Valley This Morning on Monday to discuss the city’s role in battling the pandemic, especially as many Texas A&M University students return to the area for the spring semester.

“We’re doing the same things of course, and the university is doing the same things as it had but with a little bit of an uptick, and also offering more on-campus, in-person courses which means we should see some more students coming in,” said Mooney, who is also a professor at Texas A&M. “The other hat that I wear at the university, it was clear that students found there’s real value in being in the classroom rather than just doing it online.”

Mooney says the city and the university will continue to push testing, but “the next step is getting as many people vaccinated as we possibly can.” Mooney, Bryan Mayor Andrew Nelson, and Brazos County Judge Duane Peters have been working together on vaccination plans, and now former Brazos County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Jim Stewart has been appointed to coordinate the response.

“We’re going to have to make certain that folks know where they can get vaccinated, when they can get vaccinated, what group they’re in, because there’s still a lot of work to do and a lot of vaccinations yet to come,” said Mooney. “We only have 11 different places right now in the Brazos Valley that are equipped to be able to store the medicine needed to give the vaccinations. So until that grows, it’s going to be a slow process.”

Hospitals in College Station are seeing ICUs that are over capacity for days at a time. Mooney says staffing is the problem.

“That’s the challenge, and of course as long as this has gone on, we’ve got some very war-weary staffers in our hospitals,” said Mooney. “So we’re turning to the state as well, which is also providing some nurses in different locations to see if we might qualify for some of that, and we have made those requests. So as we see these upticks—and we do expect an uptick—especially as the college students come back. We’re working on being prepared for that increase.”

For the full conversation with Mooney on BVTM, see the video player.

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