Military to take over Houston hospital wing in fight against COVID-19

A Department of Defense medical task force arrived in Houston Monday to help local hospitals in the fight against COVID-19.

Houston Health Authority Dr. David Persse said the military medical personnel, called the U.S. Army Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force, will be taking over an unused hospital wing at UMMC to help in the fight against coronavirus.

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The hospital wing will have 30 to 50 beds and will take patients from other hospitals to lighten their load.

Persse also said a third medical resort will be opened to help nurse recovering COVID-19 patients back to health. The medical resort will be a nursing home that has been vacated, likely in the Willowbrook area, he said.

The announcements came as the mayor announced more than 15-hundred new cases of coronavirus COVID-19 today and eight new deaths.

RELATED: Houston leaders call for city lockdown amid virus case surge

The newest cases send Houston past the 30-thousand mark or total cases of the virus. With 277 total deaths, the death rate in Houston is now less than one percent. 

But Dr. Persse pointed out the positivity rate is making a steady climb, meaning out of everyone taking tests, a greater percentage of them are testing positive each week.

The mayor said he believes the region needs to go on another lockdown for at least two weeks, or at the very least go back to phase one of reopening.

Persse said the overwhelming number of daily new cases makes contact tracing an incredibly difficult task to do with any accuracy.
Mayor Turner urged people to stop doing house parties and stay away from groups of more than ten people.