Photo: Courtesy Of Texas Children’s Hospital
Texas Children’s Hospital has begun admitting adult patients because of the surge of COVID-19 patients in the Houston area.
In a statement late Monday night, Texas Children’s confirmed that the pediatric hospital has taken the unusual step of providing such additional capacity through its intensive care units and acute care beds at its campuses around the area.
“Yes, Texas Children’s is admitting adult patients,” said the statement. “We are committed to doing our part to assist the city as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise.”
Adults with the disease will be cared for in an expanded special isolation unit at the hospital’s west campus in Katy, said a spokeswoman. She also said that as part of its assistance freeing up space for other hospitals, Texas Children’s is taking adult patients who don’t have COVID-19 as well.
This is the first time during the pandemic that Texas Children’s has accommodated has had to invoke the plan. The plan was prepared in advance of the April surge of patients but turned out not to be needed then.
Earlier Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott pleaded with Texans to better protect themselves against the coronavirus, acknowledging that the virus is now “spreading at an unacceptable rate.” The message marked a change from a week ago, when Abbott downplayed rising caseloads, citing abundant medical resources and anomalies in the data.
The state reported 4,515 new cases Monday, its second highest single-day increase. The increase brought Texas’ total to 118,462.
Meanwhile, experts warned Houston could be the next epicenter of the national pandemic. The area added 2,425 cases Monday, bringing its total to 31,917.
On Sunday, a 25-county region anchored by Houston set a new record for COVID-19 hospitalizations for the ninth time in 11 days Sunday, with 1,847 patients. ICU usage crept up to 89 percent, and the Texas Medical Center warned its system could exhaust base intensive care capacity within two weeks. More than 10,000 general and ICU beds remain available in the region.
The Texas Children’s statement added that the hospital continues to carefully monitor the ongoing active transmission and increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the area and across the state.