“If rates [of infection] continue to increase 50 percent week over week, you can only do that for so long,” said Dr. David Lakey, vice chancellor for health affairs and chief medical officer at the University of Texas system and a member of the Texas Medical Association COVID-19 Task Force.
He added that chief medical officers across the state, at least this week, are “really busy, but they’re managing it.” The fear, he explained, is what next week, or the week after, will look like. And while beds, ventilators, and ICU rooms are holding up overall so far, “they’re starting to see some challenges in staff,” like respiratory therapists and nurses. As those challenges rise with the climbing hospitalizations, staffers have gotten sick or been forced to quarantine after exposures…
And ragged, frustrated medical providers all over the state have said they’re anxious about the days to come.
“We are in an entirely different place now than what we were just four weeks ago,” said Dr. Pritesh Gandhi, an Austin-based primary care doctor and the associate chief medical officer at People’s Community Clinic, which serves uninsured and underinsured Central Texans. “In the last few days, our clinic has seen three or four times as many patients for drive-through testing than we had weeks ago, and it’s reflective of massive community spread.”