Addressing commissioners

Current Hunt Regional Healthcare CEO Richard Carter appeared before the Hunt County Commissioners Court Tuesday to request an additional funding to help the agency recover the remaining deficits related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Hunt County Commissioners Court has received another appeal from local hospital officials, seeking federal grant monies to help deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Current Hunt Regional Healthcare CEO Richard Carter appeared before the Hunt County Commissioners Court Tuesday morning and requested an additional allocation of the county’s American Rescue Plan funding to assist the agency in recovering the remaining deficits related to the pandemic.

While the number of active COVID-19 cases in the county continues to fall, and the number of patients affected by the virus is also dropping, Carter said hospital stays for patients diagnosed with the virus are typically more than twice as long as for patients with other conditions.

“And that is very, very critical,” Carter said

Meanwhile, the Commerce ER is still expected to reopen for business Thursday morning and Carter believes the situation has improved enough to where twice weekly COVID-19 updates may no longer be needed

The commissioners pledged in August to provide $1 million dollars from the federal funds, after Carter said the staffing situation was critical at the Hunt Regional Healthcare Center.

Carter said Tuesday that during August and September, the Hunt Regional Medical Center in Greenville had recorded 361 COVID-19 patient admissions, which covered approximately 3,100 patient days. Carter said the patients with the virus required an average of 8.8 days in the hospital, compared to about four days for other patients.

Carter said the hospital had recorded some $8.4 million in expenses related to COVID-19 during the two-month period and had received about $3.5 million in payments.

“We expect to receive another $2 million, give or take,” he said, which along with the county’s previous pledge came to $6.57 million.

Carter requested the commissioners pledge another $1.8 million from the ARP funding.

“That would basically bring us back to break even as far as the COVID patients,” Carter said.

County Judge Bobby Stovall said he appreciates what the hospital district is going through.

“I know it has been a rough 18 to 24 months,” Stovall said, adding he and the commissioners would not make a decision until such time as they look over any other pending requests for the funds.

“I’d like to make sure we’re covering everybody else as best we can,” Stovall said.

Carter said that while there are fewer COVID-19 patients at the Greenville hospital, “our non-COVID population has increased dramatically. We’re absolutely full. We’re still trying to figure out how that happened.”

During a Tuesday afternoon COVID-19 update, Carter said the Commerce ER is still expected to reopen at 7 a.m. today.

Carter added that COVID-19 admissions also continue to decrease.

“Today there are 13 COVID+ patients with four of those in ICU,” Carter said. “Of the four ICU COVID+ patients, three are on ventilators. The total ICU census is 17 patients. The best news is we have zero patients holding in any of our ERs. The overflow patient care area in our Post Anesthesia Care Unit has 3 patients. This reduction has allowed us to reopen inpatient surgical procedures. If this downward trend continues this week, as we believe it will, then I will plan to send my final COVID update this Friday, Oct. 29.”

In its latest report, the Texas Department of State Health Services indicated there were 130 active COVID-19 cases in Hunt County, 41 less than Sunday, and 133 less than Oct. 12.

Hunt County had recorded a total of 290 deaths attributed to COVID-19, one more than on Tuesday The county has recorded 109 COVID-19 deaths since Aug. 8. The statistics were compiled by the state agency Tuesday afternoon.

Trending Video

Recommended for you