Governor Abbott deploys thousands of medical personnel outside the state to fight the wave

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaking at a press conference at the Texas State Capitol in Austin on May 18, 2020.

Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool | Getty Images

Greg Abbott, governor of Texas, said Thursday that the state will receive an additional 2,500 medical personnel from across the country to help ease the pressure on the state’s health care system imposed by the summer Covid surge.

Texas began requesting outside assistance just two weeks ago, when Abbott announced that the Texas State Department of Health had coordinated a first wave of more than 2,500 workers outside the state to respond to the delta variant. With this latest addition, the state will have about 8,100 medical personnel out there, including nurses and respiratory therapists.

Covid patients currently occupy more than half of all intensive care beds in Texas as of Thursday, compared to 30% nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“The medical staff and equipment deployed by DSHS will provide crucial support to our healthcare facilities while treating hospitalized cases of COVID-19,” Abbott said in a statement.

The Texas health services department also distributes ventilators, hospital beds, heart monitors and oxygen machines, the statement said. More than a quarter of the 52,000 cases of patients admitted to Texas hospital have Covid, HHS reported Thursday.

Texas also announced the opening of nine monoclonal antibody infusion centers earlier this month, offering current Covid patients a treatment option to limit serious illness and hospitalization. Abbott said he supports vaccines and the use of antibodies but opposes mask and vaccination mandates, forbidding local governments and schools from enforcing those requirements and threatening all those who disobey with them. a fine of $ 1,000.

Although the growth rate of cases has slowed recently in Texas, the state has also reported a seven-day average of 16,970 new cases since Wednesday, a 10% increase from a week ago, according to a CNBC data analysis from Johns Hopkins University. But health officials have warned that a slowdown in infection rates is not necessarily a reliable barometer of progress against coronavirus.

“I think it’s important to recognize that usually case rates increase and then stabilize, but unfortunately, hospitalization rates increase later and then stabilize later,” Drs. Center in San Antonio, he said in an interview with CNBC. “It usually lags for at least a couple of weeks.”

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