Tuesday was a very busy day in the emergency room, CHI St. Luke’s Health Brazosport CEO Al Guevara said.
“We are just doing our best to place patients as quickly as we can,” Guevara said. “I know that nobody likes a long wait and we are doing everything we can do decrease the wait time and to move folks through the process as quickly as we can, but, yeah things are so busy.”
The new coronavirus patients coming to the Lake Jackson hospital won’t show up in the daily count, but how busy area healthcare providers have been can be seen in a record-shattering 190 newly confirmed COVID-19 convictions announced Tuesday by Brazoria County. There usually is a several-day lag between when someone is tested for the virus and the county receives the results.
The county has averaged 114 new cases a day over the last week, bookended by its two largest daily totals — 125 cases July 8 was the previous high.
CHI St. Luke’s Brazosport staff are working as hard as they can to monitor the influx, Guevara said.
“We hope that folks are patient with us and to continue to take it seriously,” Guevara said. “The best defense right now is the mask and the social distancing and if you don’t have to go out, please don’t go out.”
The influx is putting a strain on the health system throughout the Southeast Texas region, Guevara said.
“There are going to be some transfers out, though that’s due to the condition of the patient, and that happens with any patient on any other day needing special care, as we still have room in our care center,” Guevara said. “The vast majority are transferred out to Baylor-St. Luke’s Medical Center or other hospitals within the Texas Medical Center in Houston, depending on where their other doctors are.”
The explosion in cases is just one consideration into whether state and local leaders will call a lockdown to help stop the spread of the virus, Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta said.
“There are a lot of factors that go into that, and a top thing would be hospitals and the pressure in the hospitals,” Sebesta said. “Right now, they are managing, at least the ones in Brazoria County, they are managing as far as South East Texas Regional Advisory Council and Austin.”
Almost a quarter of the new infections — 45 — are in the county’s largest city, Pearland. Its new infections include five boys under the age of 19, one girl from 10 to 19 years old, and 18 women and 20 men from 20 to 79 years old, according to county data.
Alvin reported 36 cases Tuesday, including four boys under the age of 19, one girl from 10 to 19, and 20 and 11 men in their 20s through their 60s, according to county data.
Angleton reported 31 cases, including five girls and three boys younger than 19, 15 women from 20 to over 80 years old and seven men from their 20s through their 70s.
Clute had 19 new cases, according to county data, including two girls under the age of 19, two boys in the 10-to-19 age group, 11 women from 20 to 59 years old and four men in their 20s and 30s.
Lake Jackson had 14 new cases, including one girl and one boy each between the ages of 10 and 19, eight women from their 20s through their 50s, and four men in their 20s through their 60s.
Freeport had 11 new cases, including four women and seven men between 19 and 70 years old.
Brazoria had nine new cases; Manvel, Sweeny and West Columbia each had four; Richwood had three; Brookside and Danbury had two each,; and Bonney, Bailey’s Prairie, Oyster Creek, Rosharon, Iowa Colony and Liverpool had one case each.
One resident and three employees tested positive for the virus at Country Village Care in Angleton, Sebesta said.
Two employees of Oak Village Healthcare, one employee of Elmcroft assisted-living and one employee of Lake Jackson Assisted Living, all in Lake Jackson, tested positive, Sebesta said.
Other nursing home employees who tested positive include two at The Colonnades nursing home in Pearland and one at The Fountains Assisted Living in Sweeny, Sebesta said.
“So we had 10 nursing home employees scattered over six locations throughout the county,” Sebesta said. “We also had four TDCJ employees test positive for the virus.”
The county also reported 96 recoveries and no deaths Tuesday, Sebesta said.
Cases are reported from numbers gathered by mid-afternoon, Sebesta said.
“The cutoff times depend upon how much manpower we have working, and how many cases we have to go through, so there is not really a set time, and it is generally mid-afternoon so that they can get our reporting out, notify mayors and get our dashboard updated,” Sebesta said.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.
Texas surpassed 10,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day for the first time last week and set a record Tuesday with 10,745 new cases.
The number of people in Texas hospitals has continued to climb after topping 10,000 for the first time Friday, and the state recorded 10,569 people hospitalized Tuesday.
The new cases reported Tuesday now brings the state’s total to 275,058.
State health officials said there were also 87 more deaths reported in Texas, putting the total so far at 3,322.