State officials have rejected a request from Austin-Travis County health authorities to help establish an alternative care setting amid a continuous hospital wave of COVID-19 patients.
On Tuesday, in an unsigned email, obtained by American-Statesman and KVUE-TV, Texas State Department of Health Services incident command officials told local leaders they are currently focused on helping provide workers in hospitals.
“The priority right now is to meet the needs of hospital staff to expand within the walls of the hospital,” the email said. The message came from a general address of incident orders and did not provide the name of the perpetrator.
Texas declined requests for additional nursing, assistance. Then the rise of the COVID-19 struck.
In an interview, state health services spokesman Chris Van Deusen said, “What we’ve found is that it’s better to care for people who need hospital care in the hospital. We want to maximize that before we move on to other types of facilities ”.
The response came after local officials called for help from the state on Friday to establish an alternative care site in the banquet hall of the Travis County Exhibition Center to help hospitals. COVID-19 patients who need hospital care, but not in the ICU, would go there.
Austin breaks record for COVID patients in ICU beds
Austin on Wednesday recorded the highest number of intensive care patients in the entire area with coronavirus-related illnesses since the pandemic began last spring, according to the latest data from the Austin coronavirus board.
Month:Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tests COVID-19 positive
As of Wednesday afternoon, Austin Public Health reported that 223 people were in the ICU with 145 in ventilators. In a request for assistance, local officials said they were requesting a capacity of about 50 patients with a capacity to reach 100.
“The current capabilities of the hospital system are being exceeded, which causes extended waiting times at the door and keeping patients in the emergency department,” the application said. “Hospitals have postponed life-threatening emergency surgeries to meet this demand. However, they remain overwhelmed.”
Month:Austin breaks the record for the third day with 223 people in the ICU with coronavirus, according to the data
The statesman reported last week that local leaders in July asked the state for hundreds of nurses to supplement hospitals in Austin and central Texas as the summer hike began. Initially, the state refused, saying Texas cities and counties had raised about $ 10 billion in federal COVID-19 aid money and should use the funds for nurses.
But last week, Gov. Greg Abbott, who tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, announced the state would supply up to 2,500 nurses, including about 300 in the Austin area. State officials also said last week that they would help create and equip an infusion center at the expo center so COVID-19 patients could receive therapeutic drugs.
The state health services agency has previously worked with local leaders to establish an alternative care site at the Austin Convention Center.
Travis County spokesman Hector Nieto said Wednesday that local officials, including health authority Dr. Desmar Walkes, “went directly to the state of Texas with this request because they have built-in networks, knowledge institutional and leverage to negotiate the best possible contracts.
“The state helped us last year in a similar situation,” he said, “and we had hoped to be able to re-associate with them.”