2 ICU beds left in Central Texas region, local health authority announces

Coronavirus

AUSTIN (KXAN) — In a joint Austin City Council and Travis County Commissioners meeting, local health authority Dr. Desmar Walkes said there were just two ICU beds left in the 11-county region Austin is in, as of Monday.

Those ICU bed availabilities fluctuate depending on staffing and hospitals discharging or transferring patients, among other factors.

Dr. Walkes noted that ICU bed availability is low across the entire state of Texas which makes transferring people to other hospitals increasingly difficult.

“There are people that are waiting for ICU beds in our emergency rooms,” Dr. Walkes said.

Of the people in area hospitals, more than 80% of them are unvaccinated. An additional 3.7% of those people are partially vaccinated.

A reported 759 people were in local hospitals with COVID-19 between July 26 and Monday. That’s the highest number of hospitalizations we’ve seen since January.

Of those hospitalized during that time, 68 were fully vaccinated. That’s out of the more than 698,000 people in Travis County who have been fully vaccinated since the beginning of the year.

In Austin ICUs, there are 191 people with COVID-19, the highest we’ve seen since the pandemic began. A record number of people were on a ventilator battling COVID-19 Monday at 116.

To respond to that growing crisis, APH said they’re opening an isolation facility in a hotel where they will provide space for people to quarantine.

“We have a 50-bed capacity that will come online pretty soon here,” Dr. Adrienne Sturrup, the manager of the Health Equity Unit for APH, said.

APH also announced that they had been given money from the state to reopen their infusion center.

Health leaders again stressed that to curb the spike of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, people need to get vaccinated, if they are not already.

In Austin-Travis County, there are many ways to get that vaccine — from the various testing centers, to Austin FC games, to having someone come directly to you — the city and county have provided a variety of ways to get your shot.

You can make an appointment online or walk up to an APH site without one.

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