MUST READ: Brady Says Hospitals Remain ‘Over Prepared’ as COVID-19 Surge Continues

I addressed hospital capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic Wednesday calling the health care system “over prepared” as the spike in cases continues.

While numbers originally leveled off as Gov. Greg Abbott rolled out his phased plan to reopen the state, I said the Houston region is and continues to see a “flare up.” Abbott has since put a hold on his reopen plan.

“It’s important for America to open safely and responsibly and that we achieve healthy lives and a healthy economy,” I said during a phone conference. “It’s clear Texas achieved both through phases one and two … but in phase 3 we have experienced a flare up. It is not unexpected; you see this globally as economies reopen.”

Montgomery County health officials confirmed 130 new cases Wednesday but noted the county’s active case dropped by 17. The total number of cases is now 2,784 with 1,032 active.

Hospitalizations, including both county and out of county residents in Montgomery County hospitals increased to 227 with 54 of those in ICU.

I emphasized the solution to control the spike is “smart behaviors” to drive numbers down.

“The good news here is our Houston area hospitals are over prepared with surge plans and are capable of adding bed capacity and staffing,” I said. “What they are seeing are younger aged cases, shorter stays and more likely to leave hospitals over the older COVID-19 patients.

But, I added the spike in cases is serious and hospitals will not be able to sustain the surge long term.

“It is proven that social distancing, hand washing and self-monitoring yourself for COVID-19 symptoms and then masks where social distancing isn’t possible.”

The CDC recommends the following measures in a public place: stay at least six feet from others at all times; wear a cloth face covering to help protect yourself and others; wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; and bring hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol to use if soap and water are not available.

For those needing to be testing, MCPHD has launched an online registration process for its voucher program for both symptomatic and asymptomatic. The testing is for Montgomery County residents only.

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