EL PASO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has requested authorization to use an Army medical center for non-COVID patients in El Paso due to a current surge in cases and hospitalizations in the area.

Abbott said Saturday he spoke with Dr. Robert Kadiec, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about the need to address hospital capacity in that West Texas area.

County officials reported 1,216 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday. Officials said there are currently 10,911 active cases and 38,554 total reported cases.

Abbott said he requested that Dr. Kadlec authorize the use of the William Beaumont Army Medical Center on Fort Bliss to house non-COVID patients to free up hospital capacity.

Earlier this week, Abbott said he had expedited medical resources to the El Paso area, which was in addition to resources sent last week. He said the Texas Department of State Health Services was sending over 460 medical personnel, as well as 48 patient monitors, 25 medical beds and 30 oxygen concentrators.

According to county data, COVID-19 hospitalizations rose sharply in the area this month from 166 hospitalized patients on Oct. 1 to 678 patients on Oct. 22.