With the news of Texas Governor Greg Abbott testing positive for COVID-19, health officials are warning the current COVID surge could be worse than anything seen yet.
The latest surge of the virus has also caused new cases and COVID-19 hospitalizations to rise with record speed to just below their January peaks, as the highly contagious delta variant rips through the unvaccinated community at a rate up to eight times faster than earlier strains, officials said.
“We are entering the worst surge in sheer numbers,” said Dr. Mark Casanova, a palliative care specialist in Dallas and a member of the Texas Medical Association’s COVID-19 Task Force. “This is the fourth round of what should have been a three-round fight. We do have very sincere concerns that the numbers game is going to overwhelm us.”
The latest surge has put a strain on the availability of ICU beds in the state.
Out of nearly 12,000 people hospitalized with COVID in Texas on Monday, more than a quarter of them are in the state’s ICU beds. At the end of last week, at least 75 Texas hospitals reported that they had no ICU beds available for patients — and more than 50 additional facilities said they had just one bed available at some point during the previous week.
Most of the shortages are occurring in major metro areas, near the Gulf Coast and in the eastern portions of the state, where vaccination rates are among the lowest in the state.
The report from the Texas Tribune goes on to say tents are being erected to handle COVID patient overflow at a hospital in Houston.
Governor Abbott's positive test came back despite the fact he has been fully vaccinated, but he said on Tuesday that he doesn't have any symptoms associated with the virus. He says the vaccine is likely the reason he does not feel any symptoms.
The governor has come under fire for upholding no mask mandates across the state, but he has never told people not to wear a mask. He has also gone on record encouraging Texans to get vaccinated as well.
So, are you taking extra precautions with the latest surge in COVID? Are you back to wearing a mask and practicing social distancing? We'd like to hear how you are coping with COVID. Let us know on Facebook or on our station app.
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