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Brazos County Health District making changes to COVID-19 hospitalization reporting

New hospitalization numbers have not been released since mid-March
Published: Apr. 1, 2021 at 4:39 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 1, 2021 at 6:02 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The Brazos County Health District says it is making changes to how it reports COVID-19 hospitalization data for the county.

For nearly a year, the health district has been sending out the percentage of ICU bed capacity, and total bed capacity in Brazos County hospitals. In the last two weeks, those numbers have gone unreported to both local media and the public.

When asked why this was the case, Sara Mendez with the health district said they have not received those numbers from the Capital Area Trauma Regional Advisory Council (CATRAC) in the last two weeks. KBTX reached out to the local CATRAC members about why this has been happening, but have not heard back.

Baylor Scott & White Health say that they have continued to report their hospitalization numbers to the CATRAC.

In a statement, Baylor Scott & White Health says:

Our number of COVID patients has declined since the previous surge in cases. While we continue to be encouraged by declining COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations, coupled with increasing vaccinations, we cannot let up on the evidence-based practices that have helped keep Texans safe over the last year.

Fortunately, we already know what works: hand hygiene, physical distancing and face covers. These measures can be difficult, but they are proven.

Our providers and staff remain vigilant during this time of heightened awareness of COVID-19, and their dedication to evidence-based infection prevention practices are the backbone of Baylor Scott & White’s efforts to maintain a safe care environment.

St. Joseph Health officials say they too have continued to send COVID-19 information to local and state officals.

St. Joseph Health continues to report all COVID-positive cases to the Brazos County Health Department daily. Currently, the COVID-positive hospitalization rate for the Brazos Valley varies between 5 – 7% daily. As more community members are vaccinated, we are seeing a reduction in the number of COVID cases, especially the number of severe cases requiring a hospitalization. St. Joseph Health encourages all community members to get vaccinated. To sign up for a vaccine, please visit BrazosHub.com, or call 211 for vaccine information.

Since this recent lack in reporting, the health district has continued to include the hospitalization percentages from March 16 in its daily reporting.

Moving forward, Mendez says the health district is working on reporting the percentage of total COVID-19 patients in area hospitals instead.

“That percentage is actually a better overview of what is going on in our community in the hospitals,” said Mendez. “So we are looking at moving forward in reporting that percentage.”

As of March 31, the health district says that the percentage for Brazos County COVID-19 hospitalizations is at 5.11 percent.

Mendez adds that they are working on adding that new data point to their daily reports by tomorrow.

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