HOUSTON - El Paso is seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases once more. The county judge said that their hospitals and intensive care units are at 100% capacity.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner is bringing back weekly COVID-19 press conferences because the numbers are increasing at a higher rate that is too fast. Things are getting so bad in cities to the west of Houston like El Paso that they have now put into place a curfew.
“You want to put in all those belts and suspenders now because it could be a pretty rough winter. I’m hoping it won’t be as bad in Houston as I predict it will be in the norther part of the country, but it could be pretty bad,” said Dr. Peter Hotez with Baylor College of Medicine.
Heath officials are now talking about a third wave of COVID-19.
With numbers ticking up at a higher rate in Houston, it’s prompting the mayor and Dr. David Persse with Houston Health Department to re-assume their weekly press conferences.
“Houston could eventually be facing a third wave, or at least another surge of this virus. Before it goes much further than that, it is important for us to sound the alarm for people in the City of Houston, to remind people this virus, how we manage this virus in large part depends on us,” Mayor Turner said.
On Monday, the Houston Health Department reported 168 new cases. No additional deaths were reported, but the death toll does remain for the city at 1,315 Houstonians.
The positivity rate is also up now at 6.5%.
“We now have three metrics that are showing increased activity of virus in our community. That’s the bad news. The good news is that the hospitalization rates are remaining relatively stable,” said Persse. “In those general beds the number is starting to trend up a little bit.”
The Texas Medical Center released new numbers Monday on the hospitalization rates. On Sunday, the TMC admitted 80 new COVID-19 patients. Last week, it was 92 per day. Compare that to last month when it was 78 per day.
Seventeen members of the Houston Fire Department have gone down to El Paso to help as part of an ambulance strike team, along with member of Chambers Chambers County EMS, Cy-Fair and Humble Fire.
“Right now, we are trying to stay ahead and that’s why we are encouraging people to recognize what’s taking place in other parts of the country, as well as in west Texas,” said Mayor Turner.