14 ICU beds open in Austin-area 

By Sahar Chmais
As of Aug. 2, 14 Intensive Care Unit beds remain available in the Trauma Service Area (TSA) O, which serves Hays County, Travis County and other counties.
The number of available ICU beds reached seven availabilities on July 31 and has gone up to 14 available beds –but the number of COVID-19 patients in ICU has been increasing. On July 22, there were 99 patients in ICU due to the virus, but as of Aug. 2, 164 COVID-19 patients sit in ICU.
A total of 12.5% of the hospitalizations in TSA-O are due to COVID-19, according to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
There are 44 Hays County residents in-hospital due to COVID-19, as of Aug. 3, a number that has been increasing, and 271 total fatalities. Hays County has 1,425 active cases: Kyle has the highest caseload of 457, then San Marcos with 72 active cases, and Buda with 344 active cases.
Baylor Scott & White, Ascension Seton and St. David’s Healthcare recently put out a statement regarding the rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
“The latest COVID-19 spike is putting extraordinary pressure on our hospitals, emergency departments and healthcare professionals,” the statement reads, “and it has further challenged hospital staffing due to a longstanding nursing shortage. Ascension Seton, Baylor Scott & White Health and St. David’s HealthCare continue to ask our community to help us and each other by getting vaccinated, practicing social distancing and wearing a mask. We cannot emphasize strongly enough the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant.”
The three medical groups added that if they reach capacity, they cannot accommodate the increased demand. Additionally. The hospitals have a surge plan that utilizes all available patient care space and employees within the hospitals and in other settings across their healthcare systems.
“Our responsibility during this pandemic continues to be balancing our readiness to care for patients with COVID-19,” the statement reads, “while making sure patients who depend on our hospitals receive needed and timely care. We do not want to see necessary non-COVID care delayed as it was during the early stages of the pandemic.”

 

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Sahar Chmais holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been covering cities in Hays County for one year, touching on residents' struggles and successes, city issues, COVID-19 and more. Prior to reporting on the local spectrum, Sahar reported for a national news organization, covering gun violence. Sahar enjoys working as a local reporter because she gets to work with real people and their stories.

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