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Bryan, College Station hospitals seeing increase of COVID-19 patients

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 2:03 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 26, 2021 at 6:09 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - As COVID-19 cases rise across the state, so are hospitalizations.

According to the state dashboard, 4,626 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19.

The Brazos County Health District reported Monday that COVID-19 patients make up 9.38 percent of local hospital occupancy, which equates to 20 people.

“We’re seeing those numbers reverse to some degree but nowhere near the level we had back in January,” said Dr. Lon Young, CapRock Health System Chief Medical Officer.

The state dashboard is reporting that in Region N, which Bryan and College Station falls under, there are three ICU beds available.

“The vast majority of the care that’s getting performed in our facility right now is not COVID related,” said Dr. William Rayburn, Baylor Scott and White Chief Medical Officer. “We continue to do procedures. We continue to do surgeries. We continue to be open for business.”

“It’s as much of a staffing issue as anything else,” said Dr. Kia Parsi St. Joseph Health Chief Medical Officer.

Even though hospitalizations aren’t at max capacity right now, hospitals are still struggling with some limited resources.

“My concern is respiratory therapist ICU nurses, intermediate care nurses, physicians that care for critically ill patients, these are areas that we do have limited resources throughout our community and our state and we have to keep a close eye on,” said Rayburn.

Health experts say what most of these COVID-19 patients have in common is being unvaccinated.

“What we’re seeing is those that weren’t vaccinated, and that is more of a younger population ‚the 20-50-year-old population. A lot of them don’t need hospitalization even though our total community numbers of COVID positive patients is rising, we’re not sure how that will translate into hospitalizations,” said Parsi.

Still, our local hospitals remain alert.

“We’ve pulled back on a lot of these surge efforts that we made before which means if we should get back to those levels that we can dust off our surge plan and reenact it with relevant ease,” said Young.

“We’ve seen pretty significant surges and we’ve been able to provide care safely and adequately to our community and we’ll continue to do so,” said Parsi.

“We do have ventilators. We do have satisfactory amounts of mechanical equipment. We do have satisfactory amounts of PPE,” said Rayburn.

Doctors agree there’s one easy and important way to keep cases low.

“While our hospitals are in a better position to handle this and while the total numbers probably won’t get back to where we saw them, the virus is more dangerous to each individual now than it has been before,” said Young.

“We have a way now to prevent COVID. We didn’t have that before. I really encourage those who are considering vaccination to take that step,” said Parsi.

For more information on where to get a vaccine click here.

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