LUBBOCK, Texas — Hospitalizations have been on the rise across Lubbock County over the past few weeks. On Wednesday, a study released from the University of Texas in Austin projected that if this trend continues, in another three weeks, there may not be enough beds available for the estimated number of Covid-19 patients.
Officials from Covenant Hospital explained their plan of action in the case that they are at capacity.
“It’s something that we do every day. And I know it sounds complicated now, because we’re juggling kind of a global pandemic,” said Covenant Health CEO Chris Lancaster. “But the reality is, this is, this is where our hospitals are almost on a daily basis of having to manage these capacity issues.”
Covenant has always had a comprehensive plan in place if they reach capacity — it involves working with other hospitals in our area.
“I think something that you see is hospitals, really having to work together with constant communication,” said Lancaster.
However, if all the hospitals reach capacity at once, it will put a strain on our health care system.
“Look at you know, how many people are hospitalized today for Covid, in Lubbock, it’s the highest ever, right, it’s higher than what you what you experienced during the late summer,” said Dr. Lauren Ancel Meyers, Director of UT Modeling Consortium. “And what’s projected because of that really sharp increasing trend is that it’s only going to continue to grow.”
Even if a hospital like Covenant is prepared for reaching capacity, Dr. Meyers explained that if behavior doesn’t change soon, it could be disastrous for our entire health care system.
“When communities get to the point that the health care system is being overwhelmed, it means that, you know, not only are, you know, Covid cases not going to get the care they need,” said Meyers. “But everybody who requires hospital care, critical care, is potentially at risk of not getting the care they need.”
Meyers explained that it all comes down to practicing personal responsibility to prevent another surge. She said that wearing a mask and not letting your guard down when spending time with friends and families members can help prevent what could be a potential catastrophe for hospitals across the state.