Medical officials warn of staffing shortage as COVID-19 cases, hospitalization rise in Houston

Call for more medical personnel
Call for more medical personnel

HOUSTON – As Governor Greg Abbott announces another record-breaking day in new cases of coronavirus, medical professionals are asking for the public’s help in flattening the curve. Lines for testing continue to grow and hospitals are nearing capacity.

Local medical professionals are concerned with the lack of personnel to treat sick patients.

As cases soar statewide, and in the Greater Houston area, there is intense pressure on the medical system—as doctors, nurses and volunteers struggle to keep up with demand. The Texas Medical Center’s ICU is at 97% capacity. Leading physicians at the TMC sent an open letter to the community asking the public for help.

“We’re fighting a war against an invisible enemy, and you do what you have to do to take care of patients,” said United Memorial Medical Center Chief of Staff Dr. Joseph Varon.

As for testing, many people report longer than usual wait times.

“I got in line at 6 a.m. and somebody took my information at 2 p.m., and I was actually tested at 2:45 p.m.,” said resident Francesca Rainosek.

Rainosek expressed concern over testing conditions and said that there were few staff members able to work on a large number of cars wanting to get drive-thru testing at the HCC Southeast Campus testing site at 6815 Rustic St..

“There were no bathrooms. Nobody could leave. There were elderly people. There were children,” Rainosek said.