Editor's note: This story has been changed from its original post to correct CHI St. Luke's Health Brazosport has not needed anything close to its licensed bed capacity. The original story misstated the type of capacity described by CEO Al Guevara.
While Alvin’s Emergency Medical Services has not been overwhelmed by the virus, the stresses of dealing with COVID-19 head-on has taken its toll, Director Ron Schmitz said.
“We have struggled a little bit, but not from the volume,” Schmitz said. “We have been handling a lot of calls and it’s just been more difficult for them. People are screening patients and it’s just been cumbersome and difficult and stressful for us. We have been lucky that no staff member has gotten sick yet.”
Schmitz added they routinely receive about 14 to 16 calls a day citing COVID-19 symptoms, sometimes as many as 20 to 30. However, the department remains stocked with personal protective equipment, Schmitz said.
“The PPE is very hot and uncomfortable right now in 100-degree heat,” Schmitz said. “It’s definitely been more of a physical load. We came into the pandemic well off on PPE. We overstocked early on and received funding from the state.”
Alvin has the second-most reported cases of COVID-19 in Brazoria County with 370 residents. County officials also reported Tuesday the city’s worst spike of 31 reported infections in a single day.
Female residents included women in their 20s, 30s and 50s, three teenagers, two girls younger than 10, two women each in their 40s and 50s and one in her 60s. Three men in their 60s, two in their 50s, three teenagers, one younger than 10 and ones in their 40s, 70s, 20s and 30s also reported positive.
One of the men in his 40s became the county’s 19th reported death, according to county data.
Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta has not been in contact with hospitals over the last week but has instructed officials to alert him if any concerns arrive.
“I’ve told each of them to let me know if they are in a bind,” Sebesta said. “I haven’t heard from any of them yet.”
Care facilities including CHI St. Luke’s Brazosport have experienced an uptick but remain open and available for patients, Chief Executive Officer Al Guevara.
“We always held to 15 percent of our staffed beds to be reserved,” Guevara said. “We have exceeded that at times but have always accommodated them. We will be ready for anything.”
Guevara added the hospital “hasn’t come close” to needing all of the 154 licensed bed capacity or eight intensive care unit beds for COVID-19 patients.
“Not everyone that has COVID-19 needs to be in the hospital,” he said. “We have a number of discharges and then a rebuild. It does come in waves, but we are not overwhelmed. It is challenging though.”
Pearland, the county leader in COVID, had 26 residents reported positive Tuesday. Four women in their 30s, two in their 60s, three teenagers and women in their 50s, 40s and 20s reported positive. Men included three in their 30s, two in their 70s, 50s, 20s and 40s each and a teenager.
Angleton added 14 residents — two women in their 20s, two teenage girls, three women in their 60s, two men in their 20s, women in their 30s, 70s and older than 80 and men in their 40s and 50s. It now has 151 active cases, third-most in the county, including 70 in the last five days.
Manvel reported its highest daily total, spreading to nine residents. Three women in their 40s, two teenage girls, two teenage boys, a man in his 40s and a woman in her 30s tested positive, according to county data.
Lake Jackson had two women in their 40s, two men in their 20s, men in their 60s and 70s, and a woman in her 30s.
Other residents to report positive included a teenage girl, a man older than 80 and a man in his 20s from Clute; a Sweeny man in his 40s; a Sweeny woman in his 20s; a West Columbia woman in her 30s; two West Columbia men in their 20s; a Brazoria man in his 50s; a Brazoria woman in her 20s; a Danbury boy younger than 10; a Danbury man in his 50s; a Freeport man in his 40s and woman in her 30s; a Hillcrest Village girl younger than 10 and woman in her 30s; two Iowa Colony men in their 40s; a Richwood man in his 20s; and Oyster Creek and Richwood teenage boys.
Two people were reported as probable positive, who are people who are exhibiting COVID symptoms and are linked to others who tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
None of Tuesday’s reported positive were Texas Department of Criminal Justice employees or nursing home residents or staff, Sebesta said.
County officials reported 23 residents are newly recovered from the virus.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 2,531 cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported in Brazoria County. There are 1,349 active cases 1,124 recoveries and 39 cases considered probable.
Nineteen county deaths have been blamed on the coronavirus.
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.
Pastor’s infection closes Clute church
St. Jerome Catholic Church in Clute is closed until further notice following its pastor testing positive for the coronavirus.
Father Jim Lynes, the church’s pastor, shared he tested positive for the coronavirus Tuesday.
“I last celebrated a public Mass at St. Jerome on Friday, June 26, 2020, at 9:00 a.m., and I have been in isolation since then,” Lynes said in a release.
The church had maintained mask, social distance and sanitation protocols, Lynes said. He strongly encourages churchgoers to monitor themselves for any symptoms.
“If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please seek medical attention immediately and be tested for COVID-19,” Lynes said.
He plans to keep the public informed of the church’s reopening date via text message updates and social media, Lynes said.
“Please keep everyone affected by this virus in your prayers,” Lynes said.