Number of Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients Increases

DFW medical experts watch hospitalizations increase as they warn winter months will fuel further coronavirus spread

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It's the return to social activities that doctors say is fueling the spread of the coronavirus and sending more people to hospitals for COVID-19 care.

Leaders at the DFW Hospital Council said the region is at about 70% of the highest level of hospitalizations reported in July when bars and schools remained shut down.

The latest projections from UT Southwestern predict more than 2,000 new daily cases in Dallas and Tarrant counties by November 10.

"If we add to that the expected increase that we will see with the fall and winter season, the capacity-related issues at hospitals are a real concern," said Dallas County Medical Society President Dr. Mark Casanova.

"Are they a concern today? No. Could we be seeing them if things don't change within a month? Absolutely," said Casanova.

North Texas hospitals have received and are treating some patients from El Paso, where the state has sent additional medical staffing.

W. Stephen Love, president of the DFW Hospital Council, said Monday the state has sent additional staffing to Abilene and Wichita Falls and Lubbock.

He added that North Texas hospitals are okay currently on bed capacity, PPE and staffing but are carefully monitoring the COVID-19 increases hourly.

Casanova said he hopes the curve flattens so the strain eases on healthcare workers.

"Discussions about limiting hospital capacity or more specifically, elected procedures, is not based on bed availability alone. It's based on availability of staff," said Casanova.

"We need the public to realize that the staff caring for patients in the trenches have been at this relentlessly now for nine months straight," said Casanova.

Joseph Chang, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Parkland Health & Hospital System, released a statement in regards to the patients transferred from El Paso.

"Parkland is proud to help its sister hospitals around the state in times of crisis. Many other hospitals in DFW and around the state are helping as well. We will be monitoring the status of our friends in El Paso daily, and accepting transfers as need dictates and we are able. To date, we have received three patients, one of whom unfortunately succumbed to COVID-19."

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