Texas Medical Center sees 40 percent increase in coronavirus hospitalizations

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As Texas continues its reopening, and people are gathering in large numbers for protests, Texas Medical Center leaders are seeing a concerning amount of new patients.

In the coming days, if you attend a protest or find yourself around a large group of people, don't get a coronavirus test the following day.

Experts say you should wait three to five days, which means now is the time to test if you were at last week's protest with 60,000 people.

READ MORE: Doctors fear COVID-19 outbreak after George Floyd march in Houston

"Probably the most logical time to get tested is about three days after you've been exposed," Houston Methodist President, Marc Boom, explained. "Obviously, if you have symptoms, you must get tested."

Experts hope last week's protest doesn't create a spike in cases. The Texas Medical Center has seen a rise in new patients over the past week.

Hospitalizations are up about 40 percent from the low point. Officials say they still have room to handle the caseload, but they're concerned about the growth of new patients.

"It's not yet at a rate where we'd sound a large alarm, but it is certainly something concerning as it has increased," Boom said. "It's well below our previous peak. We still can manage a significant uptick, but we can't manage a rapid, uncontrolled rate of increase."

It's not just in Houston. There are 1,935 COVID-19 patients in Texas hospitals currently, which is more patients in Texas hospitals than at any one point.

This week, the state will allow restaurants to increase capacity to 75 percent, and large amusement parks in Texas will reopen soon.

"Personally, I would say, right now we're not ready to go through the next gate," Boom explained. "We've seen an uptick in infections. It's gotten steeper. I think we should slow down, pause and see what happens over this next week and 10 days."

Especially, experts said, with the large gatherings the city has seen and may continue to see in the coming days.

Follow Nick Natario on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.