Texas Medical Center plans to increase capacity to ensure there's enough hospital beds

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- On Thursday, Texas Medical Center leaders tried to calm growing concern about a surge in COVID-19 cases.

In a rare public statement on Wednesday, Texas Medical Center leaders said ICU capacity is becoming increasingly stretched and if current trends continue, the hospital system capacity could become overwhelmed.

Hospital officials pleaded with Houstonians to do their part in helping slow down the spread of the virus.

RELATED: ICU beds at the Texas Medical Center total at 97 percent capacity

Dr. Marc Boom with Houston Methodist, Dr. David Callender with Memorial Hermann Health System, Dr. Doug Lawson with St. Luke's Health, and Mark Wallace with Texas Children's Hospital held a virtual news conference on Thursday. The group said there will be beds to treat patients, and capacity adjustments can be made to meet the needs of the community if cases continue to spike in Texas.

"Quite frankly, we're concerned that there is a level of alarm in the community that is unwarranted right now. We do have the capacity to care for many more patients, and have lots of fluidity and ability to manage," said Boom. "What's different now, of course, is about one in four of those ICU patients are COVID patients in our hospital system right now."

They continued to stress the public should practice social distancing, wear masks and avoid any gatherings.

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