Fifth of Central Texas Hospital Beds Filled in One Day by Influx of COVID Patients

A fifth of hospital beds in Central Texas have been filled in just one day as COVID cases surge in the region.

According to data gathered by the Texas Department of State Health Services and seen by Newsweek, there were 11,774 new confirmed cases in the Lone Star State on August 3.

The department also said the number of active cases had jumped by 8,000 to 112,012 on Tuesday. In Central Texas, active cases stood at 3,854—a one-day increase of 600.

This surge has led to a sharp increase in patients being admitted to hospitals in Central Texas, with about a fifth of beds being occupied in one day.

According to KWTX, a TV station based in Waco, 205 COVID patients from Bell, Coryell, Hamilton, Lampasas, Milam and Mills counties—which is officially designated as Trauma Service Area L—were admitted to hospital on Tuesday. They ended up filling 19 percent of beds and making up 23 percent of all patients in that area.

Another 92 COVID patients were hospitalized on Tuesday in Trauma Service Area M, which covers Bosque, Falls, Hill, Limestone and McLennan counties. These patients occupied more than 19 percent of beds and accounted for 20 percent of people being treated in the area.

The TV station added that the last time there were this many hospitalizations in Trauma Service Area L was on January 28. For Trauma Service Area M, it was the highest number since February 12.

Texas has recorded a huge uptick in COVID infections, with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reporting on Monday that 6,628 people were in hospital with the virus.

This is the second-highest number of hospitalizations in the U.S., behind Florida's figure of 10,862 people.

Despite the surge, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order in late July declaring that the state would never mandate vaccinations or face coverings.

However, the mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner, issued a mask mandate for city workers on Monday, in an attempt to combat a "recent uptick in possible cases in our community and in our workplace linked to the new Delta variant."

The total number of confirmed COVID cases in Central Texas stands at 84,867.

According to KWTX, more than 43 percent of residents aged 12 and older have received at least one vaccine dose in the 16 counties that make up the central region. Almost 37 percent are now fully vaccinated, up from 34 percent a week ago.

The figures for Central Texas are lagging behind the numbers for the state as a whole. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, 62 percent of residents aged 12 and older have received at least one shot and 53 percent are fully vaccinated.

Newsweek has contacted the Texas Department of State Health Services for comment.

covid hospital teenager, stock, getty
Stock image of a teenager in hospital. Texas has recorded an uptick in COVID-19 cases across the state. Getty Images