The total number of coronavirus hospital admissions in Texas reached 5,691 on Sunday, the highest level since late August, when 5,639 COVID-19 hospital admissions were reported on August 20, according to the latest report from the Texas Department of Health (DSHS).
According to Ricardo Samaniego, El Paso County Judge, hospitals in El Paso County are struggling to cope with the rising number of deaths, which has increased faster than the county can investigate these deaths.
According to Samaniego, who ordered a fourth mobile morgue unit just one day after the establishment of a third mobile morgue unit, KFOX-TV from El Paso reported that a total of 232 possible COVID-19 deaths are being investigated and the district is running out of places to place these bodies.
Samaniego noted, “People who die are examined to see if they died from COVID and to see if they had other diseases or not. This inhibits the process.
“I believe many more people will die in the next two to three days,” he added.
The mortality rate in the city of El Paso, the county seat of the El Paso district, has risen sharply since the end of April. The seven-day moving average of COVID-19 hospital stays in El Paso has risen sharply since the beginning of October, according to the El Paso City Health Department.
The rising number of deaths is due to the fact that Samaniego issued an order to stay in a home in the El Paso district last week.
“Today [October 26th] the district’s Home Residence and Occupational Safety Ordinance was amended, which now provides for a nationwide curfew at 22:00 hours. Our hospitals are now at a point where they are overwhelmed and exhausted.
“I have no choice but to take this next step in the hope of bringing some stability to our community and most importantly, saving lives,” Samaniego noted in a Twitter post last Monday.
It has been reported that hospital capacity across the state is 75 percent, with 13,499 of the state’s total 54,203 hospital beds currently available and 1,108 intensive care unit (ICU) beds available, according to the Texas DSHS.
On October 29, the intensive care unit in the Texas Medical Center (TMC) in Houston, which is the “largest medical city in the world” with “10 million patient contacts per year” according to its own statements, was occupied 89 percent, according to TMC.
According to Worldometer, more than 140,000 of the state’s total infections are active cases (those currently infected and treated in hospital or recovering at home).
Texas is currently the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S. with a total of almost 937,000 confirmed cases (as of Monday), dwarfing the figures from California and New York, which, according to data from Johns Hopkins University (JHU), used to have the largest number of cases in the country.
The seven-day moving average of daily new cases in Texas has risen sharply since the beginning of October, reaching 6,873 on October 31, after months of decline and flattening out in September. However, according to JHU, the average number has not yet reached the record level of mid-July when it peaked at 10,572.
The seven-day moving average of daily deaths has been declining since August, according to Worldometer, and has flattened out since early October.
The overall picture
The novel coronavirus has infected more than 46.5 million people around the world, including more than 9.2 million in the United States, since it was first reported in Wuhan, China.
Worldwide, more than 1.2 million people have died as a result of the infection, while according to the JHU, more than 31 million are reported to have recovered by Monday.
The chart below, created by Statista, illustrates the prevalence of COVID 19 cases in the USA.