HOUSTON - Businesses in Texas began reopening on May 1. Now, roughly five weeks later, Texas Health and Human Service records indicate a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
“People are forgetting that Corona is still here,” said Dr. Joseph Varon, Chief Medical Officer at United Memorial Medical Center. “They are kind of putting it aside like oh, it’s no big deal, it’s only Corona. No. It’s Corona and it can kill you. You have to be careful.”
On Friday, FOX 26 reporter Matthew Seedorff followed the suggestions and got tested for COVID-19 and Coronavirus antibodies out of an abundance of caution. However, Seedorff hasn’t experienced any symptoms.
“It’s definitely a little bit uncomfortable,” said Seedorff during the COVID-19 nasal test. “Not too bad [though]. My eyes are watering.”
Results are still pending for Seedorff’s COVID-19 test, but the antibody test came back negative within minutes.
“Ideally, that means you’ve never been exposed to COVID,” said a medical expert in the room.
According to Dr. Varon, their hospital is currently seeing an increased number of patients with more severe symptoms compared to earlier in the pandemic.
“We are at about 60 percent capacity, but we are actually increasing our number of beds, trying to have as many as we can,” said Dr. Varon. “I mean; we are truly scrambling.”
Although many people were wearing masks during recent protests in Houston, Dr. Varon predicts to see more COVID-19 patients within the next week or so. Dr. Varon also admits, United Memorial Medical Center did see a spike following Mother’s Day and Memorial Day weekends.
“I’m getting annoyed,” said Dr. Varon. “I’m seeing more patients, not less patients. When you talk to some of these patients, you can clearly tell they either are not listening, or they’re carelessly disregarding what we told them.”