Valley patients are being flown out of town due to the lack of medical staff

Local News

STARR COUNTY, Texas (KVEO) — Starr County Memorial Hospital is flying COVID-19 patients out of the Valley because there is not enough staff to provide care.

“The number of fatalities has significantly increased throughout the county,” said Dr. Jose Vasquez the Starr County Health Authority.

In the past week, multiple Starr County patients were flown to San Antonio to receive critical care because of the shortage of nurses Valley-wide.

“It was impossible to transfer them within the Valley and we spend a significant amount of the day trying to get to a higher level of care,” Vasquez added.

Starr County’s hospital received 30 additional healthcare workers this week, after requesting help from the state.

“We are a 46-bed hospital. Our COVID unit was 8 patients, we have more than that but we did not have the manpower necessary to open new isolation beds for COVID related illnesses.”

Among those 30 new workers are registered nurses, respiratory therapists, lab technicians, and CNA’s who are already caring for patients.

The county is nearing 1,000 positive cases, a number Vasquez expects to skyrocket within the next few days.

“I was just texting with TDH to know what happened, why are they delaying in the report of positive cases. I haven’t received a report within the last four-five days. The drive-thru facility, the private facilities have not reported anything either over the last three days,” he emphasized.

Vasquez fears although the hospital is balanced with the newly added workers, they will be back to square one as the county expects reports from the previous week plus the Fourth of July weekend.

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