City-County COVID-19 Press briefing – Public Health Update: Hospitals

Today's briefing was an update from public health officials about the status of COVID-19 in Victoria’s hospitals.

VICTORIA, Texas – Victoria County and City Officials hosted a news briefing this afternoon regarding the status of COVID-19 in local hospitals.

Presenters for the briefing included: Dr. John McNeill, Victoria Public Health Authority; David Gonzales, County Public Health Director; Bernard Leger, CEO of DeTar Healthcare System; Mike Olson, CEO of Citizens Medical Center; Cristina Adrean, CEO of Post Acute Medical Specialty Hospitals of Victoria; and Tommy Beyer, CEO of PAM Health Rehabilitation Hospital.

The purpose of this press briefing was to provide updates on the current COVID-19 situation, overall, with the increase in cases. It also provided updates on the situation in hospitals and what the community can do to protect themselves and others.

David Gonzales, County Public Health Director, began the briefing by discussing the ways to protect yourself with the use of facial coverings and getting vaccinated.

Dr. John McNeill followed by stating the main reason for the briefing is the current situation in local hospitals.

“Hospitals are stressed but they can still take care of you,” says Dr. McNeill.

Staffing has been the biggest challenge

Mike Olson, CEO of Citizens Medical Center, says staffing has been the biggest challenge. According to Olson, there was already a shortage in staffing, but now it’s getting worse. Citizens Medical Center received 26 staff members from the state, allowing the hospital to open up four more ICU beds.

“DeTar has received 30 nurses from the state for support,” says Bernard Leger, CEO of DeTar Healthcare System

“We want you to make an informed decision and have the best information that you have, protect yourself and protect your loved ones,” says Christina Adrean, CEO of PAM specialty hospitals of Victoria

Victoria County will not place a mask mandate per Governor Abbott’s order.

This briefing comes as the Texas Department of State Health Services reports only 306 ICU beds to remain available in the entire state of Texas. Based on the Aug. 25 report, the Victoria region has five ICU beds available, which is 1.63% of all available ICU beds in Texas.

You can watch the recorded live stream by clicking here.