While testing for COVID-19 is just beginning in North Texas, healthcare workers are on the frontlines risking their own health and that of their families to slow the spread.
But are they adequately protected?
Stephen Love is CEO of the DFW Hospital Council and said when it comes to protective gear like masks and gloves for doctors and nurses North Texas hospitals are in good shape – for now.
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“We feel we have an adequate supply,” Love said.
He said the area's top hospitals began to prepare for the new coronavirus weeks ago by cataloging supplies and the number of available beds, ventilators and isolation rooms to prepare for a rise in patients.
“When this first broke at the end of December in China, they started looking at their inventory,” Love said. “They started just in case because there were predictions then that this may go pandemic and so we started adding to the inventory. So, do we have enough? We feel we do. We think we can flex. We think we can handle the surge.”
On Wednesday, while speaking to reporters Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and Dr. Phillip Huang said the county’s restrictions on social gatherings are focused on not overwhelming the medical community and draining resources.
“One of the key things we’re trying to do is protect the healthcare system,” Huang said.
Jenkins said there would not be enough respirators for patients if citizens don’t act with personal responsibility.
If you feel ill, doctors encourage you to take one of the online screening tests now offered by area hospital systems first, or calling your doctor first instead of showing up at the office or hospital.
Coronavirus Cases in Texas
Locations on the map are approximate county locations and are not intended to identify where any infected people live.
Case data pulled from a variety of sources including county health departments, Texas Department of State Health Services, KXAN-TV in Austin and KPRC-TV in Houston.
How to Avoid COVID-19 Infection:
The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu. CDC always recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
*Information shared from the Office of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott