Jul 13, 2020 - Health

Houston public health system CEO says coronavirus situation is "dire"

Houston's coronavirus situation is "dire, and it's getting worse, seems like, every day," Harris Health System CEO and President Dr. Esmail Porsa said Monday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

The big picture: Porsa said the region is seeing numbers related to the spread of the virus that are "disproportionately higher than anything we have experienced in the past." He noted that Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital's ICU is at 113% capacity, and 75% of its beds are coronavirus patients.

Why it matters: New York hospitals never became so overwhelmed that patients were abandoned in hallways, but the situation became dire after lockdowns were in place, and became a matter of riding out the storm, writes Axios' Caitlin Owens.

  • In Texas and elsewhere, people remain free to move around and thus keep spreading the virus.

What he's saying: "The situation, the best I can describe it is dire and it's getting worse, it seems like, every day. As we're hopeful we can turn for the better, it seems like every day we're setting a new record."

  • "LBJ Hospital has been over 100% capacity for ICU beds. As of yesterday afternoon, it was 113%. That happens, exactly as you describe it, as we add more intensive care beds to the hospital, the capacity goes over 100% capacity. Meaning every traditionally designated ICU bed at LBJ Hospital is already occupied. And 75% of those beds are now COVID-19 positive, which is staggering."
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