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Local hospitals prepare for post Thanksgiving COVID surge

Transferring out patients to out-of-town hospitals is an option but for that to happen hospitals in San Antonio or the Valley would have to accept them, which could be hard since they are also facing their own surge.
Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 9:00 PM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - Laredo and Webb County continue on a critical path as the hospitalization rate and positive case count continues to go up.

As of Monday afternoon, COVID ICU’s at local hospitals have hit capacity.

Local hospitals are feeling the pressure as ICU’s hit capacity and medical staff brace themselves for a predicted after-Thanksgiving surge.

“These next 10 to 20 days are going to be very difficult for our community, especially for health care workers,” said Doctor Victor Trevino. “That’s approximately how long we have to prepare for the surge of cases from Thanksgiving day activities.”

According to health officials, oer 20 patients are waiting in the emergency room hoping to be moved to an ICU bed.

Doctor Trevino said some patients arriving at the ER may be asked to wait in their car after getting evaluated to avoid crowds inside the building.

Laredo’s Mayor Pete Saenz says they are looking into options to help the current strain and prepare for the what’s to come.

“We need to create this tent facility to help assist the hospitals in triaging, and we are also reaching out stakeholder primarily gateway clinic and mercy ministries to see what extent they can provide services.”

However, Trevino says even if more beds and space become available you then need to think about staffing.

Medical staff sent by the state has been providing relief but that could soon change.

“The state people have advised Doctor Trevino that there is a strong likelihood they will not be sending resources as we need them. That is concerning and disturbing as a mayor since they did commit to sent resources within 72 hours. I understand there is a great need and demand for medical staff and personnel across Texas, but we are needing those resources as well.”

Saenz says transferring out patients to out-of-town hospitals is an option .

However, for that to happen hospitals in San Antonio or the Valley would have to accept them which could be hard since they are also facing their own surge.

“We need to plan for the worst case. The worst case for us is not resources and no transferring out and we have to deal with it ourselves.”

During the media briefing, Doctor Trevino touched on the eventual coronovirus vaccine.

He says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet on Tuesday to discuss distribution plans.

Trevino expects frontline and health care workers, the elderly, and other vulnerable populations are likely to be included in the high priority group.

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