DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As the number of coronavirus cases continue to grow in North Texas, concerns are beginning to be raised about the availability of hospital beds.
Dallas County officials said plans are underway to accommodate more space in the event of a potential shortage of beds.
As of Friday, the county said it had over 4,300 beds available, with 400 of those in the intensive care units of hospitals. However, officials also said they could need thousands more.
The current number of reported cases of COVID-19 in Dallas County is currently at 169 and 5 deaths as of 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Of the 169 cases, 61 needed to be hospitalized.
As testing is becoming more widely available, officials are expecting the number of confirmed cases to rapidly increase, which is why they are preparing in order to avoid any kind of shortage of space.
Dallas/Fort Worth Hospital Council CEO Steve Love said the governor could help ease the shortage. Gov. Greg Abbott has already ordered a halt to all elective surgeries and procedures to help clear some space.
However, even with that order, Love said officials are considering setting up tents and additional beds at locations that were once hospitals.
Dallas County could make an announcement in the coming days about possibly converting available space into medical space. The old Parkland Hospital is an example of potential space.