Area hospitals make COVID safety plea for New Year's weekend

Staff reports
This illustration reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

Grayson, Fannin and Cooke County health officials are pleading with locals to stay safe this holiday weekend. Due to rising COVID numbers in the area,  area hospitals have sent out a public health statement through the Grayson County Office of Emergency Management.

Hospitals represented in the statement included North Texas Medical Center in Gainesville, Muenster Hospital, Carrus Hospital in Sherman, Texoma Medical Center in Denison, TMC Bonham Hospital, and Wilson N. Jones Regional Medical Center in Sherman.

"COVID-19 cases continue to increase in our county, and so are the number of patients in our hospitals," the statement release Thursday said. "Currently, our ICU beds are full and more than 40% of all ICU beds are filled with COVID-19 patients. Our Emergency Departments are overflowing with many patients waiting for care and rooms.

The release went on to say that as hospital capacity continues to reach limits, health officials need the public's help in ensuring there will be beds available for both COVID and non-COVID related emergencies.

"This virus is rampant in our community," the release said. "Our elderly, those with preexisting conditions, and even some otherwise healthy people are requiring significant hospital intervention. The care of those with COVID-19 is in addition to our “normal” hospital usage.

"With the current uncontrolled community spread, a tremendous burden is being felt by our area hospitals, and that could affect the availability of care. Our healthcare providers are being pushed to the limit, and we are not seeing any signs of COVID-19 slowing down."

Grayson County's active COVID-19 numbers

North Texas is not the only area facing COVID-related hospital issues. An emergency alert was sent out to residents of Houston and Harris County on Wednesday evening urging individuals to celebrate the new year with individuals who reside in the same residence. 

Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a lawsuit to the mayor of Austin and Travis County judge over a business curfew issued for New Year weekend. The case was heard by a state district judge on Thursday afternoon.

"Now more than ever, we need your help to slow the spread," the GCOEM release said. "We want the communities we serve to know that we’re here for you, but we ask that you be here for us now. We make your health our top priority. Now we are asking that you make the health of the whole community your priority as well. Until the vaccine is available to you, help us stop the spread of COVID-19 and give our frontline workers some much needed relief, so we can properly take care of you should you have a medical emergency.

"Together we can get through this, but in order to do that, we need our community to do what is necessary to stop the spread of this virus," the local release concluded.