WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Officials with the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District expressed concerns of rising COVID-19 hospitalizations and dwindling ICU capacity while presenting an update on the pandemic to the Wichita Falls City Council during their regular session Tuesday morning.
Amy Fagan, Assistant Director of Health, gave a detailed report to the council on the rise of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the county.
“Our hospitalization percentage has gone up in our trauma service area,” Fagan said. “Currently there are two adult ICU beds available in our trauma service area C, and there are no pediatric ICU beds in our trauma service area.”
According to data from United Regional, as of Friday, September 3, 87% of those admitted for COVID-19 are unvaccinated.
Of the 26 patients listed as critical care patients, 25 were unvaccinated.
The dwindling ICU capacity isn’t just a concern for those who need a bed, but for the healthcare workers that work long hours to staff a full ICU.
“Quite frankly, it’s a terrible time to be in public health and in healthcare,” Fagan said.
Fagan also reported to the council the total number of new cases continues to rise, with over 90% of the 848 new cases reported in the week ending on September 3 not receiving a vaccine.
Fagan said the Health District is close to reaching its capacity to actively manage cases, and if the trend of increasing new cases continues, their capacity will be exceeded.
“This is concerning for us,” Fagan said. “We are having a hard time right now actively managing cases. The staff worked over the weekend. We have committed to not being behind, but I can tell you right now that’s very challenging.”
Fagan said there are over 100 hospitalized in Wichita County as of Tuesday morning; there were 83 hospitalizations listed on Friday’s COVID-19 report, an increase of at least 17 hospitalizations on Labor Day weekend alone.