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State transferring patients after local hospitals reach capacity

COVID and non-COVID patients are being transferred of town, so far two were airlifted and twelve were transported by ambulance.
Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 9:42 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - Local hospitals no longer have room for patients, so they are now being transferred out of town.

Officials say this is part of their emergency plan, which is seeing some good things come into play.

After hospitals met capacity on Tuesday, officials reached out to the state asking for more help to alleviate hospital staff.

Emergency Management Coordinator and Interim Fire Chief Ramiro Elizondo says their call for assistance has been answered.

“Fourteen transfers, lateral transfer, we conducted,” said Elizondo. “It will continue. We have state teams in doing ground/air transports to San Antonio hospitals.”

COVID and non-COVID patients are being taken out of town. So far two were airlifted and twelve were transported by ambulance.

Mayor Pete Saenz says this is all a part of the emergency plan.

“The reason why they’re being transported is because we’re creating, or at least the state, and through the assistance of the state and the state plan is to allow more time for us to build out measure here at the specialty hospital,” said Mayor Saenz. “As we are creating these spaces and also in the actual hospitals themselves, it’s going to take some time and this is why we have this relief now, so to speak.”

Elizondo says they’re working on setting up additional rooms at the specialty hospital.

“The main goal for specialty is to get their nine COVID unit ICU rooms available as soon as possible,” said Doctor Victor Trevino. “We’re working on that. We’re getting the staff, equipment, and everything. The goal is to phase it in, twenty should be our next step and that will help with our ICU issue.”

Additionally, officials announced that criteria at the Red Roof Inn will be changed to allow for more patients. The facility that can house up to 106 patients is currently caring for only seven.

The new criteria for the Red Roof Inn is being worked on. Once it’s ready hospitals will be notified of the changes.

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