There are currently thousands of patients waiting to be treated on Texas hospital treatment floors after not getting the vaccine against the virus. In addition, hospitals have suspended elective procedures and hired 2,500 medications from other states to curb the outbreak.
While the delta variant of the Coronavirus sweeps across the country, particularly in the South and Midwest, states with low vaccination rates and lax public health measures are bracing for what could be their most aggressive fight against the disease to date.
2,500 Doctors From Out-Of-State Are Deployed By Texas To Fight Covid
In recent weeks, more and more patients in Texas have been diagnosed with covid. According to a study by Johns Hopkins University, Texas has logged 15,419 new cases each day on average as of Wednesday, an increase of 34 percent over the previous week and more than double the seven-day average of 6,762 that occurred just two weeks ago.
In light of the spike in cases, Republican Governor Greg Abbott is threatening $1,000 fines against local municipalities that defy his mask mandate, resulting in a backlash against schools and local government officials. First, in a May 18 executive order, he banned local mask mandates, then on July 29, he imposed fines on counties, cities, school districts, health agencies, or government officials who disobeyed his directive.
Also prohibited in the second-order were all public and private entities, government agencies, from requesting individuals to get vaccinated until they can present proof. Officials across Texas have taken the state into court, defying Abbott’s authority.
Local officials in Bexar County, home to San Antonio, are able to reinstate the mask mandates and emergency orders to combat the Delta variant due to a temporary restraining order Tuesday issued against Abbott’s ban. A temporary mask requirement has been issued for all Dallas Independent School District properties about 300 miles north of Houston.
Clay Jenkins, a Democrat, and Dallas County judge has issued a new mask mandate for schools, businesses and county facilities after a local judge restricted Abbott from enforcing his rule. The restraining orders will be fought by Abbott. The Republican Attorney General and the Republican Governor say together they are protecting Texas’ rights and freedoms through personal responsibility.
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While hospitals continue to grow, the number of patients continues to rise. According to local officials, Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital in Houston, St. Luke’s Hospital in the nearby Woodlands, and several other local hospitals have set up overflow tents outside to deal with the influx of patients, the majority of whom are unvaccinated as of this afternoon. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Texas lagged behind the United States in vaccination levels, with 53.6% of its population receiving at least one shot, compared to 58.9% nationwide.
Ahead of Abbott’s request earlier this week, the Texas Hospital Association requested to be given the opportunity to postpone elective medical procedures to make room for ICU beds. He also said the state would bring in 2,500 out-of-state physicians to relieve exhausted doctors and nurses.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, ninety percent of ICU beds are occupied in Texas and roughly forty percent of them are occupied by Covid patients. Texas continues to have record-high rates of HIV cases and deaths, but they are doing so at a much faster pace than the nation as a whole. State-wide, Covid’s death toll is also on the rise. The state’s death rate has reached 57 deaths per day on average as of Monday, 33 percent higher than last week but below the 341 deaths per day record set in late January 2021, as per data shown by Hopkin’s.