Doctor: New Houston area COVID-19 metrics are cause for concern

Tracking COVID-19 in Houston area
Tracking COVID-19 in Houston area

HOUSTON – For the first time, Texas surpassed 2,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations Tuesday with the official tally reaching 2,056, according to the Department of State Health Services.

In Houston, the Texas Medical Center, a consortium of hospitals, notes that over the last week, the average new case count per day in Harris and seven other contiguous counties stands at the second the highest ever.

Perhaps more importantly, the number of hospitalizations in our area has seen a steady rise. The seven-day moving average for Texas Medical Center hospitalizations has been moving upward, with little relief since May 17.

The uptick appears to coincide with the “re-opening” of Texas.

The availability of ICU beds and ventilators remains manageable, at the moment, according to a Baylor College of Medicine Doctor who is among those that study the metrics.

“So far, I think the resources have been adequate to support that slow but steady increase. The, of course, concern about that is what’s tomorrow going to bring,” said Dr. Stacey Rose, a Baylor College of Medicine assistant professor in infectious diseases.

A number of doctors have identified the combination of steady increases in key metrics as a “red flag” that requires better adherence to social distancing, personal hygiene and face covering.

“It should be a call-to-arms, or a red flag, or a reminder, that with the reopening comes an increased sense of personal responsibility,” Dr. Rose said.