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Harris County - Houston

Texas Medical Center 97% Occupied 

At the Texas Medical Center in Houston, 97 percent of ICU Beds are Occupied.

As the number of patients hospitalized with the coronavirus has reached record highs 12 days in a row, there are warning signs that Houston hospitals are nearing a tipping point.

At the Texas Medical Center in Houston, 97 percent of ICU beds were occupied on Tuesday. Twenty-seven percent of those ICU patients have COVID-19.

Planned vs Unplanned

The Naysayers will be quick to comment that "only" 27% of the bed usage is due to Covid-19. 

But Covid is precisely the problem. Last year 0% of the bed usage was due to Covid-19.

Not Just the Texas Medical Center

Hospital officials in other parts of Houston are also reporting that intensive care units — for seriously ill patients, like those on ventilators — are near or over capacity. Local leaders have warned that hospitals could get overwhelmed if the number of infections keeps climbing.

Texas Children's Hospital said this week it is admitting adult transfer patients, with and without the virus, to help other facilities manage their capacity. 

Tipping Point - Texas Eyes Stadiums for Emergency Use

We appear to be nearing the tipping point,” Dr. Marc Boom, head of the Houston Methodist hospital system, wrote in an email to employees Friday. “Should the number of new cases grow too rapidly, it will eventually challenge our ability to treat both COVID-19 and non-COVID 19 patients."

Elsewhere, counties like Travis and Harris, which includes Houston, have eyed local convention centers or stadiums as temporary hospital overflow facilities — reviving plans mapped out early in the pandemic that were largely abandoned due to lack of need at the time.

Governor's Response 

The governor struck a newly urgent tone Monday in a televised press conference to say COVID-19 was “spreading at an unacceptable rate” and that multiple metrics to gauge the virus’ spread and severity had significantly increased. Epidemiologists have attributed upticks in infections and hospitalizations to changes in behavior, including lax mask use and less social distancing.

Trump Blames "Too Much Testing"

Trump's amazing response is to not only blame too much testing but act to limit testing by cutting funds. 

Texas Case Projections - With and Without Masks

Texas Case Projections - With and Without Masks 2020-06-24

Charts from Worldometers.

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Texas Death Projections - With and Without Masks

Texas Death Projections - With and Without Masks 2020-06-24

Typical Denier Reactions

Typical Denier Responses

My Response to the Deniers

  1. No doubt the initial models were overstated, but the denier claims this was much ado about nothing were even worse.
  2. The initial model projections were based on doing nothing. The deniers never took that into account.
  3. When states took aggressive that undoubtedly halted the curves, the deniers claimed this would have happened anyway.
  4. The deniers went on to project that warmer weather would finish the whole thing off in May, then June, and now? 
  5. Now the deniers blame the models instead of their silly this will all go away if we do nothing projections.

Point 5 is particularly amusing in light McCarthy's moan about forecasting 3 months out.

Houston may run out of beds tomorrow and is forced to eye stadiums to house patients.

Fake News of the Day

In the fake news of the day, which no doubt had his delusional followers cheering, Trump made the claim: States Testing Too Much

Trump's remedy is to halt test funding for locations in five states.

Texas was especially hard hit. See the above link for details.

The EU Lifts Its Travel Ban But Not For the US

Meanwhile The EU Lifts Its Travel Ban But Not For the US.

Trump's Campaign Visit to Arizona Church is Irresponsible at Best

Finally, Trump's Campaign Visit to Arizona Church is Irresponsible at Best

Trump's response has been amazingly wrong nearly every step of the way.

But putting his reelection campaign ahead of national health concerns and cancelling test funding goes far beyond "irresponsible".