Austin’s hospital region only has two ICU beds left due to COVID surge

The Texas Department of State Health Services reports Austin’s hospital region only has two ICU beds left for a population of over 2,000,000 people.

Texas reported around 26,500 new cases of COVID-19 and 53 deaths. Currently, DSHS says over 13,000 people are in the hospital with COVID. The last time the state saw numbers like that was in January.

"While it may look normal out there in our communities, our hospitals right now are facing really, really grim situations," said Dr. John Carlo, Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Taskforce

Tuesday, Governor Greg Abbott tweeted that Texas reported the fewest COVID hospitalizations the state has seen in two weeks. State doctors hope the downward trend continues since hospitals across the state are overwhelmed with COVID patients.

"I certainly hope it continues because what's going on in our hospital systems right now is it's a very, very busy situation and we don't want to see it get busier," said Dr. Carlo.

Austin-Travis County is reporting almost 600 people in the area are hospitalized with 218 in the ICU and 147 on a ventilator.

The surge is said to be due to the Delta Variant

According to a UT study, the delta variant increases hospitalizations risk by 80%.

"[The Delta Variant] also has the ability to attach better to the cells in your throat as well as in your lungs which is why so many people are ending up hospitalized," said Dr. Trish Perl, Chief Division Of Infectious Diseases for UT Southwestern.

DSHS breaks Texas up into 22 parts listing Austin’s hospital region with over 2,000,000 people. According to its dashboard, as of Tuesday, Austin only has two adult ICU beds available and five pediatric ICU beds.

Experts say the best way to curb these numbers is to get vaccinated and continue mitigation efforts.

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