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Field hospitals ready to go in Bexar County if hospitals reach capacity

KENS-TV San Antonio logo KENS-TV San Antonio 1/7/2021 Jordan Foster

Coronavirus numbers are surging in Texas. Tuesday was the second time the state has reported more than 30,000 new COVID-19 cases in a day. Some counties have even had to start building field hospitals due to shrinking hospital capacity.

“The stress on our hospital systems continues to increase. There are 1,318 patients in our hospitals. That’s an all-time high for the region,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said.

“Should people be worried? We’re definitely concerned,” UT Health San Antonio Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Leverence said.

Right now, the positivity rate in Bexar County is almost 25%, and currently 33% of all hospital patients in Bexar County have the coronavirus.

“The numbers continue to increase. So we are getting close to the need for more severe measures,” Leverence said.

Leverence says field hospitals that were built last summer at the Freeman Coliseum during the second coronavirus surge are on standby.

“Our goal is to stop the need for a potential field hospital, and a lot of measures are being taken. For instance, we’re creating more bed capacity in hospitals by no longer doing elective surgeries,” Leverence said.

On top of that, he says they expect 1,300 more contract nurses to be in San Antonio by the end of the week. The doctors says those nurses would be the ones to work the field hospitals if needed, but he hopes it doesn’t come down to that.

“If we end up needing a field hospital, we’re going to know that within the next two weeks because our projection models say this surge should be out within the next week,” Leverence said.


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