EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) — El Paso’s fight against the coronavirus has become national news, with hospitals and intensive care units working over capacity for weeks, and the El Paso Convention Center serving as a field hospital with 100 beds inside.
Now, because of this lack of space, El Pasoans are ending up in hospitals halfway across the state.
“We have patients in our hospitals right now from El Paso, because there wasn’t room for them in El Paso,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said.
On Monday, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said hospitals in the state’s capital have started taking in patients from the Borderland to free up bed space in El Paso.
The mayor didn’t say how many El Pasoans had been airlifted to Austin, but he did say the city’s hospitals were only taking patients that haven’t tested positive for COVID-19.
At 182 patients on Tuesday, Austin only had 16% of El Paso’s COVID-19 hospitalizations, but the mayor said the number had started to creep up in recent weeks.
And while the state’s capital had beds for patients, their real concern was running out of healthcare workers to treat them.
“That’s really where our system gets stressed,” Mayor Adler said. “We have physical space, but as we learned in June and July, the real threat to us is not having people so that our staffs are overwhelmed.”
On Thursday, El Paso’s Office of Emergency Management said 67 El Pasoans had been airlifted to other cities for treatment so far.
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