DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Hospital administrators in North Texas will be watching to see if COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations spike again after Monday, which is more than two weeks after the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Stephen Love, president and CEO of the DFW Hospital Council, said Thursday, “Sometimes it takes as much as 12 to 16 days to really see the impact.”
Hospitals began seeing a rapid increase in positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations two weeks after the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Late Thursday afternoon, the state reported there were 1,880 people hospitalized with the virus in the 19-county North Texas region.
That’s an increase since Wednesday.
Love said 30% are in the ICU, and 43% are on a ventilator.
The facilities, he said, have enough beds and personal protective equipment.
Love said, “What we’re really worried about, if we double capacity in the next two weeks, which we hope we don’t, but we could, we’re going to have some workforce issues.”
Hospitals in the North Texas region have not gone into full surge mode yet, Love said, even though some have added beds to treat COVID-19 patients.
If they need more staffing, he said they can ask the state to help.
Donna Richardson, the chief nursing officer at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, said in a statement Thursday the state is sending their facility more medical staff because of the need.
A federal disaster assistance medical team that was originally heading to Parkland was diverted to another part of the state.
Love said the hospitals in our region are not overrun. “No, they’re not. There are some that are that are pretty full. But we’re very, what I would call blessed here in North Texas, we have large systems. They have very elaborate transfer centers. And they’re transferring patients within systems.”
Gov. Greg Abbott previously suspended elective procedures at hospitals in Dallas County to save capacity.
While that hasn’t happened at hospitals in other North Texas counties, Love said some facilities announced this week they are considering similar steps voluntarily.
We’re also learning more about how the state estimates the number of people who’ve recovered from the virus.
A spokesman with the State Department of Health Services said Thursday that 80% of the people who get COVID-19 don’t need to be hospitalized, while the remaining 20% do.
The spokesman said non-hospitalized patients recover in about 14 days on average, while patients who’ve been hospitalized recover in about 32 days.