NUECES COUNTY, Texas — According to City-County health leaders, the COVID-19 surge in cases is overwhelming local hospitals.
Nurses and staff are being overworked and patients are filling up beds faster than they can be staffed; area medical officials are working with the state right now to get more help.
"We are having to send our patients out of our county," said Dr. Kim Onufrak with the City-County Health District. "Out of our district to other hospitals that are also stretched thin."
Mid-July was the start of a new wave of COVID. Flash forward to now, the wave has turned into a tsunami, which could get worse. Graphs project what we could see very soon if people's behavior does not change, according to Dr. Chris Bird with the Informatics and Modeling Team.
"We're going to hit a peak in hospitalizations in a week or so," said Dr. Bird. "And the other one [graph] says hospitalizations are going to go to the moon."
In most places, you are not required to wear a mask and vaccines are still optional.
Yet, those two little things serve as defense against COVID. As of late, experts said local folks have been acting careless and our health care heroes are paying the price.
"From my estimation, I think this amount of people is more than the hospitals are designed to address," Dr. Bird added.
On Tuesday, the Coastal Bend Regional Advisory Council said they've been in contact with the state to get help from outside of Texas since hospitals statewide are hurting for more hands. They sent 3News this statement:
"CBRAC are rapidly coordinating with area hospitals to submit requests to fill staffing needs that will enable our hospitals to open up more beds to care for our community...public, please do your part, get vaccinated and practice social distancing and masking."
The help can't come soon enough.
"This is back to where we were a year ago," Dr. Onufrak added. "I talk to my colleagues and everybody is tired. We've been fighting this for a year and a half."
Word on if or when out of state nurses will come to the Coastal Bend has not yet been released, but we will keep you updated.