Waiting for available beds

Hunt Regional Healthcare is reporting the Greenville ER had 10 patients waiting for available inpatient beds as of Tuesday.

The local hospital system is reporting some improvement in COVID-19 statistics, while the state health agency is noting a significant decrease in the number of active cases in Hunt County.

However, the increasing number of deaths attributed to the virus in Hunt County continues, a surge which has lasted more than a month.

Hunt Regional Healthcare CEO Richard Carter issued the latest update Tuesday on the COVID-19 patient status at local hospitals.

“Today Hunt Regional Medical Center has a total patient census of 167 with 75 of these patients COVID+,” Carter said. Four of these patients are fully vaccinated. However, none of these four are in the ICU or on a ventilator. For today our ICU has 27 total patients with 14 COVID+. Eleven of these 14 COVID+ patients are on ventilators. The Greenville ER currently has 10 patients waiting for available inpatient beds. Just like last Friday, none of these 10 patients need to be admitted to the ICU, which is good news.”

In its latest report, the Texas Department of State Health Services indicated Hunt County had recorded 223 deaths attributed to COVID-19 as of Wednesday, four more than on Monday and 20  more than on Friday, Sept. 3. The county has recorded 41 COVID-19 deaths since Aug. 8.

The statistics were compiled by the state agency Tuesday afternoon.

Hunt County had reported 7,522 cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday, 138 more than Monday with 1,949 probable cases, an increase of 67 cases in two days.

There were 669 active cases in the county, 93 fewer than on Monday.

There had been 8,802 estimated recoveries from COVID-19 in Hunt County, an increase of 298 patients in two days.

“Our staffing is still doing well for nursing and respiratory therapy and we continue to struggle to accommodate the COVID testing requests,” Carter said. “Yesterday more than 500 COVID tests were performed in Greenville and Quinlan at our facilities. About 22% tested positive.”

• The Texas Department of State Health Services reported Wednesday that 48.01% of the Hunt County population 12 years and older had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, with 40.14% being fully vaccinated.

Numbers of those vaccinated in Hunt County and in each county across the state are available online at https://tinyurl.com/29mgxxan

The CDC has posted the following guidelines for COVID testing:

• People who have COVID like symptoms – whether or not vaccinated

• Anyone referred for testing by their healthcare provider

• People who have had close contact (more than 15 minutes in close proximity) with someone with confirmed COVID-19

•  People who have tested positive within the past three months and recovered do NOT need to get tested following an exposure unless new symptoms appear

“At this time we are unable to determine a date to reopen Hunt Regional Emergency Medical Center at Commerce,” Carter said. “The Commerce staff remains crucial to our ability to care for inpatients at Hunt Regional Medical Center.”

Carter also addressed the issue of whether vaccine “booster” shots are needed.

“We are watching this developing story and will keep you informed,” he said. “For anyone who is immunocompromised or has not yet been vaccinated, county-wide CVS pharmacies have the Moderna vaccine, WalMart pharmacies have both Moderna and Pfizer, the Medicine Shoppe in Greenville has Pfizer, SaveMart in Quinlan, and Dyer Pharmacy in Farmersville have Moderna.”

• A list of locations with vaccines available is online at https://www.vaccines.gov/search/

• A list of all of the available regional infusion centers and therapeutics facilities is available online at https://tinyurl.com/4cvpm6yd

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