‘Don’t put yourself at risk’: Doctors warn to be safe over Labor Day weekend as hospitals continue to stay full

HOUSTON – Dr. David Callender, president and CEO of Memorial Hermann, said vaccinated people can feel safe to go out and about this weekend while unvaccinated people should not travel or attend large gatherings since the majority of hospitalized COVID patients are unvaccinated.

However, everyone is being warned not to put themselves at risk when it comes to any activity.

“Don’t do it. Don’t put yourself at risk. But the challenge this particular weekend is that our EMS resources are tied up, responding to COVID and non-COVID calls,” Dr. Callender said. “They’re having to wait longer to offload their patients at our hospitals because we’re so busy. That means less availability in terms of numbers of units available to respond, the response times are higher. So again, don’t put yourself in that situation.”

The situation he’s referring to could be anything from an injury, sickness or an accident. You’ll be prioritized on just how bad you are to determine your spot in line for a hospital or ICU bed. That’s not a problem just in the medical center. Across Texas, hospital beds are limited.

On Friday afternoon, SETRAC said across the 25-county region there are 462 patients waiting for a hospital bed (163 of them have COVID),68 patients are waiting for an ICU bed (37 of them have COVID).

Dr. Syed Raza from St. Luke’s Medical Center in the Woodlands said you’ll be treated while you wait but that could be in hallways or waiting rooms.

“They’re putting hospital beds there, they’re putting dividers up so we have more places where we can start treating patients in an efficient, quick fashion. We don’t really have a choice,” Dr. Raza explained.