2,500 medical personnel to be deployed to help Texas hospitals

More than 2,500 medical personnel will be deployed to help Texas hospitals care for the increasing number of COVID-19 patients.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Wednesday that the Texas Department of State Health Services has arranged for the deployment. Abbott recently directed the DSHS to use staffing agencies to provide out-of-state medical personnel to struggling health care facilities.

"The State of Texas is taking action to ensure that our hospitals are properly staffed and supported in the fight against COVID-19," said Abbott. "Texans can help bolster the state's efforts to combat the virus by getting vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective, and it is our best defense against the virus."

Dozens of Texas hospitals have also run out of intensive care unit beds as COVID-19 surges faster than any other time during the pandemic, propelled by the new delta variant.

The state is divided into 22 trauma service areas, and half of them reported 10 or fewer available ICU beds last Sunday. On Tuesday, Austin-area hospitals reported only two available ICU beds.

This first deployment of personnel will be fully funded by the state through September 30.

In addition to calling for more medical personnel, Abbott has also sent a letter to the Texas Hospital Association asking hospitals to voluntarily postpone elective medical procedures, for which a delay will not result in loss of life or the deterioration of a patient’s condition, in order to increase hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients.

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