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Houston area hospitals prepare for surge in COVID-19 cases

HOUSTON – Health experts at Memorial Hermann Hospital and Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center say they’re prepared for what may come in the next few weeks.

It’s a never-ending battle with COVID-19. Cases continue to rise across Houston and Harris County.

“We certainly continue to ask for help from the people of greater Houston help us stop this disease. Please be patient, use the mask, use social distancing, let’s wash our hands so we can limit the demand of hospitalization,” Dr. David Callender, president and CEO with Memorial Hermann Health System said.

On Tuesday, the Texas Medical Center reported 4,515 new cases and 388 new hospitalizations.

“We are concerned that all of those metrics are going to get worse before they get better,” Callender said.

TMC said there are 1,405 people in the ICU. Of those people, 511 have COVID-19. Several hospitals in our area already have plans in place if the numbers get worse.

“We are not concerned about beds that’s one thing that we have plenty of. Our hospital has two campuses so we have a second campus we can expand onto if we need to,” said Dr. Liz Youngblood, president of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center said.

“We have converted some space that’s not typically used for beds into bed care space in the face of this increased demand so we are not out of beds but clearly we are concerned,” Callender said.

Both hospitals also have additional staff, agencies and traveling workers who are ready to help out.

“We are all busy everybody is all busy and it’s not just about COVID-19 there is that regular demand for hospital service out there that exist people who have heart attacks strokes trauma victims,” Callender said.