ICU Beds Running Out in 5 Texas Regions As COVID-19 Cases Pass 200,000

Novel coronavirus cases in Texas soared past 205,000 on Tuesday, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

Hospitals in at least five regions across the state have reported less than 10 intensive care unit (ICU) beds as being available, according to the latest report Monday from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).

The Nuevo Laredo region in southern Texas at the border with Mexico was reported to have the least number of ICU beds available with only five, according to the Texas DSHS.

The Beaumont region of eastern Texas was reported to have six available ICU beds, followed by the Corpus Christi region of southern Texas, which was reported to have seven ICU beds free.

The Victoria region and San Angelo region were each reported to have nine ICU beds available, as of Monday.

On Monday, Texas saw a record 8,698 hospitalizations, the highest level reported since April 4. There are reported to be 1,226 ICU beds available across the entire state, as of Monday, according to the Texas DSHS.

Hospitalizations in Texas have been increasing steadily from around June 1, about a month after the state reopened in May.

Dr. Bryan Aslip, executive vice president of San Antonio's University Health System, San Antonio's largest hospital network, said on Monday: "If we get to that point, where we truly run out of capacity in our hospitals, it means that we won't be able to care not just for COVID patients, but we won't be able to care for patients that we care for all the time—that means patients with heart attacks, or strokes or cancer or trauma."

"When we're full, we're full," Aslip added.

Doctors in San Antonio last week reported hospital beds were running out, with nearly two dozen COVID-19 patients said to be waiting in emergency rooms for beds to be available.

Last week, hospitals in Houston were reported to be moving patients to facilities outside the city to cope with the surge in COVID-19-related cases and lack of beds.

Last month, Texas Medical Center, considered the largest medical complex in the world, reached 100 percent ICU occupancy.

The seven-day positive test rate in Texas has been mostly increasing from May 26, just a day after Memorial Day, before seeing a slight decline from June 27 to July 5, according to the Texas DSHS.

Houston Texas hospital coronavirus July 2020
Health care workers at the COVID-19 Unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, pictured on July 2, 2020. Getty Images

The state's daily case count has also been mostly increasing since May 1, when the state began phase one of reopening. New infections began to rise on a steeper incline from around June 8, less than a week after phase two of reopening started on June 3.

Last month, a "temporary pause" was placed on further reopenings, as the outbreak had taken a "very swift and a very dangerous turn in Texas over just the past few weeks," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said at a press briefing.

Restrictions were reimposed on bars, restaurants and outdoor gatherings under a new executive order issued by Abbott in a bid to help curb the spread of infection.

Texas Regions Where ICU Beds Are Running Out

Source: Texas DSHS (as of July 6)

Nuevo Laredo

  • Available hospital beds: 64​​​​​​​
  • Available ICU beds: 5
  • Available ventilators: 46​​​​​​​
  • Lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients currently in hospital: 93​​​​​​​

Beaumont

  • Available ICU beds: 6
  • Available hospital beds: 299​​​​​​​
  • Available ventilators: 166​​​​​​​
  • Lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients currently in hospital: 364​​​​​​​

Corpus Christi

  • Available ICU beds: 7
  • Available hospital beds: 353​​​​​​​
  • Available ventilators: 117​​​​​​​
  • Lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients currently in hospital: 249​​​​​​​

Victoria

  • Available ICU beds: 9
  • Available hospital beds: 95​​​​​​​
  • Available ventilators: 45​​​​​​​
  • Lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients currently in hospital: 108​​​​​​​

San Angelo

  • Available ICU beds: 9
  • Available hospital beds: 185​​​​​​​
  • Available ventilators: 38​​​​​​​
  • Lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients currently in hospital: 28​​​​​​​

The novel coronavirus, first reported in Wuhan, China, has spread to more than 11.6 million people across the globe, including over 2.9 million in the U.S. Over 6.3 million globally have reportedly recovered from infection, while over 538,900 have died, as of Tuesday, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Coronavirus Trajectory U.S. States Statista
Statista

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the portion of people who wore a mask in April and May amid the ongoing pandemic.

Face masks Statista
Statista

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the seven-day rolling average of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and European Union.

statista, covid19, coronavirus
A graph comparing newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Europe. Statista