MIDLAND, Texas (Nexstar)- Midland Memorial Hospital held a news conference Monday morning to update the community on their coronavirus response.
According to Senior Vice President Stephen Bowerman, the hospital is caring for 112 patients with the virus. 32 of those patients are on a ventilator. The hospital has 19 ventilators available as of Monday and has requisitioned the state for more. The hospitalized patients range in age from 19 to 70. 87% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated.
In addition to a high census, the hospital saw five patient deaths over the weekend.
“The hospital remains very busy,” Bowerman said. “We did have, unfortunately, five deaths related to COVID over the weekend, that’s a big weekend.”
Bowerman said those who died were all unvaccinated and ranged in age from 25 to 91.
Not only is the hospital dealing with a high number of patients, but it is also trying to balance workflow around a dwindling staff. There are 86 staff out due to coronavirus, either in quarantine after testing positive, or awaiting test results. The hospital has been able to open six additional beds with nursing help from the state. According to Bowerman, an additional six beds will be opened as soon as more help from the state arrives. Earlier this month, Governor Greg Abbott allocated 2,500 staff to be sent to hospitals around Texas, that number has been increased to 5,000.
That additional staff is welcomed news to hospital officials who are anticipating a high number of hospitalizations for at least the next two weeks based on the number of people testing positive for the virus. The hospital saw a positivity rate of about 32% last week. That’s up 22% from just a few weeks ago.
“That’s a leading indicator of what’s going to happen in the hospital. So as those numbers continue to rise or stay over 25 to 30 percent, that tells us that for at least the next two weeks, we’re going to have a very high census in the hospital. So as those numbers continue to go up, there’s no end in sight for busy inpatient activity,” Bowerman said.