DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council is warning that if Covid-19 cases keep rising in North Texas at their rapid rate, hospitals will soon have to implement their surge plans.
Stephen Love, President and CEO of the DFW Hospital Council said Monday, “We could well be in a surge situation within two and a half to three weeks.”
During a surge mode, hospitals add beds throughout their facilities.
Love said that on June 15, there were 700 people with Covid-19 being treated in hospitals in the state’s North Texas region.
On Monday, more than three weeks later, more than 1,600 people are hospitalized with the virus.
Love said another 1,400 Covid-19 tests are under investigation.
Ninety-percent of the Covid-19 patients in North Texas are being treated in hospitals in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton counties.
Love said he was encouraged that the city of Dallas has reported during the past two days, that occupancy for total beds and ICU beds in the 25 hospitals in the city were each below 70%.
“We’d love to be below 70%, not only in Dallas, but throughout the region.”
According to Love, it’s not just beds, but staffing levels that hospitals are concerned about.
“These heroes have been working three and a half to four months treating people with Covid-19. Many are getting fatigued and we have got do do what w can to prevent hospitalizations so that we don’t overtax them. We do bring in traveling nurses, temporary staff and we’re working closely with the state.”
He said because of the rise in Covid-19 cases, the large hospital systems have occasionally had to shift employees from one of their facilities to another. “Yeah they have, and they have also shifted between hospitals, the patients. If they have a quite a few Covid-19 patients, in one location they might spread them to another location in their system.”
Love said that at this point, none of the hospitals in the North Texas region is overrun.
Overall, he said hospitals are in good shape when it comes to having enough PPE or personal protective equipment.
Despite the rising Covid-19 cases, Love insists people shouldn’t be afraid to go to the hospital if they need emergency care, especially if they’re having chest pains or a stroke.