Houston area officials have tried to quell fears that the hospital system in Texas’ largest city will soon reach capacity because of a surge in Covid19 cases. Texas announced 5,996 new Covid19 positive cases today, a single-day record increase. Total cases in the state have reached 131,917.
Governor Greg Abbot has backed off mandating the wearing of masks and has instead left the decision up to town and cities.
Recent numbers out of Houston suggested that hospitals were at 97% capacity and were on track to reach 100% shortly. But leaders from the four largest hospital systems in Houston said this week they believe they are in good shape to handle a surge.
“Just that number is being misinterpreted and, quite frankly, we’re concerned that there is a level of alarm in the community that is unwarranted right now,” Dr. Marc Boom of Houston Methodist said.
“We have plenty of capacity,” said Dr. David Callender, of Memorial Hermann.
All four CEOs agreed that there is cause for concern about the increasing number of cases and asked Houstonians to do whatever they could to flatten the curve. They said however, that the hospitals in the Texas Medical Center are equipped to deal with a surge in hospitalizations should one come along.
Contrasting with Houston’s situation, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced this week that his state’s plans for reopening would be “paused” as hospitalizations and new Covid19 positive cases have risen. DeSantis said he had no plans to go the next phase of reopening right now.