Houston hospitals say ICU units are reaching capacity

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Texas saw a record number of hospitalizations over the weekend, reporting more than 3,400 on Sunday.

According to data analyzed by ABC News, Texas is reporting an increased rate of positive cases, hospitalizations and deaths from coronavirus.

ABC13 learned Monday LBJ Hospital is over capacity for ICU beds, but a spokesperson for Harris Health System says they have brought on extra staff to help with those additional patients.

Now, hospitals across the area are trying to move patients around to keep beds open as the hospitalization numbers move steeply in the wrong direction.

"You can see that steep increase in the number of patients admitted to the intensive care units that are COVID positive and, you'll note that they're quoting it's approximately a 4.1 percent daily growth in the occupancy of the ICUs," said Dr. David Persse.

Persse says the amount of COVID-19 patients who end up in ICU has increased by 1.6 times since May 31.

LBJ Hospital's ICU bed capacity is 108 percent full. Meanwhile, Ben Taub Hospital says its ICU bed capacity is 76 percent full, and Houston Methodist Hospital says they're 84 percent full.

"I'm incredibly concerned," said Harris County Judge, Lina Hidalgo. "That's why we unveiled our color-coded system. Just last week we said we are at level two, that is the second highest level of activation. Why? Because we've seen now for a few weeks, the hospitalizations spike, and they're only going up from there. So right now, our trends show a continued increase in hospitalizations. And that means we need community wide action to stem those trends."

ABC13 got these numbers on ICU bed capacity the same day Gov. Greg Abbott held a news conference declaring abundant space in Texas hospitals.

"Last week, I had the opportunity to speak with hospital CEOs from across the entire state of Texas, including all of the large urban areas, to get a more in depth feel for their ability to maintain availability for anybody who tests positive for COVID-19, and I was assured and reassured consistently by all the CEOs from all regions in the entire state of Texas. They had the capability and the flexibility to ensure that anybody who tests positive with COVID-19 would have a bed available," said Gov. Abbott.

Follow Shelley Childers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.