RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Hospitals in South Texas are running severely low on ICU beds as COVID-19 patients continue to fill rooms.
According to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the Corpus Christi and Laredo areas have zero ICU beds available in their area. The Rio Grande Valley, meanwhile, only has 27 available, as of Wednesday.
These numbers are alarming local leaders and health professionals. Trey Mendez, Brownville mayor, wrote that “they are holding patients in the ER until rooms become available” and noted, “we have seen a COVID surge among those who are unvaccinated.”
Health professionals say the low supply of beds is a result of staff shortages as hospitals have been made to continuously shift their resources to deal with surges of COVID-19.
“I don’t think the hospitals have the capacity to deal with more than worth it right now. So if people are waiting until the hospitals are full to change their behavior, well the hospitals are full,” said Dr. James Castillo, Cameron County Health Authority. “I wouldn’t want people looking at the hospitals to decide when it’s time to take it seriously or change your behavior.”
Castillo notes the best way to combat this issue is for people to get vaccinated and wear masks regularly.