Omicron surge reapplying pressure on BCS hospitals, affecting first responders

Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 10:44 PM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - As the surge from Omicron continues to intensify, Bryan College Station hospitals are becoming strained once again, while the cities’ first responders are being affected too.

When asked if they were again experiencing overcrowding due to COVID-19 patients, Baylor Scott & White sent KBTX a statement:

“This latest COVID-19 spike is putting extraordinary pressure on our hospitals, our emergency departments and our healthcare professionals. The overwhelming majority of the patients we are treating for COVID-19 are unvaccinated, and the rising number of cases is discouraging.

We continue to optimize hospital capacity as we balance our readiness to care for COVID-19 and non-COVID patients. However, with the highly contagious Omicron variant of the virus in our communities, we each need to do our part in protecting our families and neighbors.

What the public can do to help: We urge the community to help us and each other by getting vaccinated, getting boosted, distancing and wearing a mask.

As has been widely reported, COVID-19 testing is limited across the country. We ask those seeking COVID-19 testing who are asymptomatic or who have mild symptoms to call 2-1-1, or (877) 541-7905 or visit to find a testing site.

Please help us reserve our emergency departments for those who are seriously ill or injured so that our hospitals are ready for those who need care most during this time.”

KBTX also asked both the Cities of Bryan and College Station about how many of its first responders called out sick Thursday. College Station also released a statement:

“The City of College Station had about 20 first responders following CDC quarantine protocols today. While the city is maintaining police and fire service levels to our community, we urge all citizens to continue protecting each other’s health and well-being.”

The City of Bryan told KBTX two firefighters called out sick Thursday, but it’s unclear if they were COVID related.

Health experts say testing is an important tool that can help mitigate the spread of virus in the community, but with the limited amount of available tests right now, people should be wary of scams.

The following are signs of COVID-19 testing scams that people should watch out for:

  • A legitimate testing site will never ask for your social security number or any banking or credit card information. However, they may ask you for your ID, driver’s license, or health insurance card.
  • Testing is free, so you should not be asked to pay for a test.
  • A real testing site will send you a confirmation email or text for your appointment. If you don’t get one, that’s a sign of a scam.
  • You should get your test results in 48 hours or less.

For a list of legitimate testing sites and options in Brazos County, click here.

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