Dr. Jackson Griggs of the Waco-McLennan County Medical Team assured the community in a press conference Wednesday afternoon that local healthcare providers are prepared for the possibility of a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Citing the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, he noted that projections for COVID-19 cases in the state of Texas are reassuring.
“If we continue to be diligent about our social distancing and don’t deviate from our shelter in place, we are far more likely to avoid the kind of disastrous circumstances that we have seen and been reading about in New York and other hot spots.”
In the case that numbers take a turn for the worse, Griggs claims that hospitals are prepared to drastically expand their capacity.
“There are a total of 54 ICU beds in our local hospitals, and 40 of those ICU beds are currently in use. However, in the case of a major surge of critical COVID-19 cases, these hospitals could more than double their capacity of ICU beds.”
He also noted that local hospitals feel comfortable with their current supply of ventilators and personal protective equipment such as face shields, gloves, N-95 masks, and surgical masks.
“This is one of the strong advantages of the hospitals being a part of larger systems, in that there is a supply chain that is managed at a systems level.”
Waco Mayor Kyle Deaver added that local healthcare officials have been transparent and communicative with city officials as they get new information about the spread of the virus and their ability to treat patients effectively.
“Judge Felton and I are on the phone with these leaders every day, and sometimes multiple times a day, getting updates on what’s happening in their environment, the things that they’re concerned about, and what they’re doing to address them, and we’re helping as we can.”
As of April 9th, the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District has reported sixty-six confirmed cases of COVID-19. Thirty-four patients have recovered, and two are deceased.
Story Written and Produced by Sam Cedar