Local hospitals increasing number of beds in case of COVID-19 surge

BRAZOS, Tex. (KBTX) - Monday during a Brazos County Health District news conference, local hospital leaders said they have space to handle a surge in COVID-19 cases.

New regulations means CapRock Health System has three times the bed space to treat COVID-19 patients.

"Some of the recent regulations of how you can use beds have been relaxed because of this outbreak," said Dr. Lon Young, CapRock Health System Chief Medical Correspondent.

There are ten inpatient beds in their four facilities across Bryan College Station and 20 emergency room beds that can now be used to help treat COVID-19 patients.

"We've also practiced a lot of scenarios of how we would be able to provide surge capacity or other services if that becomes necessary in our community and thinking through our various facilities and how we might rearrange staff or other equipment to serve patients that we may not normally serve in that typical capacity," said Young.

Baylor Scott and White officials say they have 140 beds available in their hospital and emergency room. Officials say they're at half capacity, but are preparing in case they need more space.

"Making additional space in areas of the hospital that we hadn't normally use for patient care. Canceling and rescheduling surgeries to make space in those places available as well as supplies," said Dr. Barret Curnutte, Baylor Scott and White Emergency Department Medical Director.

Curnutte says in terms of supplies, they've received donations and work with the rest of the Baylor Scott and White system.

"Patient safety, as well as hospital employee and health care worker safety, is our primary responsibility. We have adequate supplies, we have adequate PPE and we're continuing to try and build those resources at this time," said Curnette.

Thanks to new regulations The Physicians Centre Hospital in Bryan was able to turn all PACU bays, pre-op rooms and endo suites to patient beds and will be able to take up to 48 patients if needed.

KBTX reached out to CHI. St. Joseph Health for details on their planning efforts, including available bed space, hospital capacity plans, and the amount of available equipment for treating COVID-19 patients. CHI St. Joseph Health declined to answer any questions before the Brazos County Health Department's next press conference Thursday.