Heading into Thanksgiving, Texas Medical Center continues to report uptick in hospitalizations

In a two-week period, Nov. 9-23, the total number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Texas Medical Center facilities increased by more than 50%, bringing the hospitals’ coronavirus patient total to 875 heading into Thanksgiving, according to data compiled by the center.

These numbers represent the total coronavirus patients housed in TMC hospitals located in a nine-county area, represented by Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller counties. This includes both patients in and out of intensive care. When the outbreak was at its worst in July, about three times as many COVID-19 patients were receiving care at TMC hospitals.

These numbers come as cumulative cases hit over 250,000 on Nov. 23 within that same nine-county area, according to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

In TMC hospitals, an average of 5.9% of the 3,543 patients who were tested from Nov. 16-22 tested positive for COVID-19. This continues an upward trend that began the week of Oct. 5-11, when the average positivity rate was 3.6%.

There were 1,219 patients in TMC hospitals in intensive care units Nov. 23, the medical center reported. Of those, 248 are COVID-19 positive, while the rest are non-COVID-19 patients.


At 92% capacity, this is below the 1,330-bed threshold that necessitates additional staffing and beds as outlined in the medical center’s Phase 2 plan.
By Hunter Marrow
Hunter Marrow came to Community Impact Newspaper in January 2020. Before that, Hunter covered local news in Ontario, OR for three years, covering municipal issues, crime, and education across Malheur County and across the border into Idaho.


MOST RECENT

Mayor Turner and the honor guard.
Houston joins nationwide coronavirus memorial, lights landmarks

The memorial was planned as a component of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' inauguration.

Feeding Texas hosted a Jan. 19 webinar to discuss legislative highlights for the 87th Texas Legislature. (Screenshot courtesy Feeding Texas)
Food insecurity in Texas' 87th Legislature: Hunger relief organization Feeding Texas to propose legislation addressing hunger

Hunger relief organization Feeding Texas hosted a webinar Jan. 19 to discuss increasing funding and accessibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in the 87th legislative session.

COVID-19 vaccines
DATA: Texas has vaccinated about 9% of estimated Phase 1 recipients

Over 1.1 million individuals from the Phase 1 population, which is estimated to include 13.5 million individuals total, have received at least one dose.

Bob Popinski, policy director of Raise Your Hand Texas, shared the organization's top education priorities for the ongoing legislative session. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
‘What does virtual learning and remote learning look like moving forward?': Raise Your Hand Texas policy director talks legislative priorities

Bob Popinski is the director of policy for Raise Your Hand Texas, an Austin-based organization committed to improving public education. He spoke with Community Impact Newspaper in late December about the 87th legislative session, which began Jan. 12.

Houston City Hall aerial view
Houston City Council ethics committee to review speech policies

The discussion comes after Facebook posts by Council Member Greg Travis led to calls for his resignation or censure.

Bayou City Art Festival Downtown is scheduled to return in person in October. (Courtesy Katya Horner/Bayou City Art Festival)
Bayou City Art Festival scheduled for in-person return in October

The Memorial Park version of the festival will be celebrated through alternative virtual and smaller in-person events.

Condit Elementary School
Houston ISD closes Condit Elementary in Bellaire over COVID-19 concerns

According to the HISD COVID-19 dashboard, there are nine active cases at Condit Elementary, including six student cases.

Mayor Sylvester Turner issued a warning to bars and nightclubs across Houston and said he plans to go after any establishment seen disregarding capacity guidelines. (Screenshot via Twitter)
Mayor Sylvester Turner calls out concerts, clubs operating over capacity

Turner also reported 1,964 new cases of COVID-19 along with 17 virus-related deaths.

The North Bellaire Special Development District located at the former Chevron campus at 4800 Fournace Place is in the review process by Bellaire’s Planning and Zoning Commission. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Bellaire P&Z mulls changes to create north Bellaire zoning district

Almost a year in the works, Bellaire has a new zoning ordinance up for consideration.

At a Jan. 15 emergency court hearing, officials came up with a plan to try to reduce the inmate population at the Harris County Jail that centers on hosting more bail reduction hearings. (Courtesy Brian Jackson/Adobe Stock)
With open beds dwindling, officials look for ways to reduce Harris County jail population

The inmate population at the Harris County Jail is rising, and officials are looking for ways to quickly ease the pressure as concerns grow over the ability to quarantine and restrict the spread of the coronavirus.

Bocca Italian Kitchen serves seasonal, Italian-inspired dishes, such as polenta and various pastas. (Courtesy Marco Torres)
Italian eateries open in Generation Park; Houston bike lane fines enforced and more local news

Read the latest business and community news from the Houston area.