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Monday, June 29, 2020

San Antonio Asks State to Help It Staff Freeman Coliseum Hospital to Handle COVID-19 Overflow

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 9:21 AM

click to enlarge Workers at the Freeman Coliseum coronavirus testing site wave motorists through. - COURTESY PHOTO / SAN ANTONIO FIRE DEPARTMENT
  • Courtesy Photo / San Antonio Fire Department
  • Workers at the Freeman Coliseum coronavirus testing site wave motorists through.
As San Antonio's number of COVID-19 cases reached more than 10,000 Sunday, local officials are asking the state of Texas to help it staff a 250-bed hospital in Freeman Coliseum to handle potential patient overflow, the Express-News reports.

Post-Memorial Day infections have sent record numbers of people to Bexar County hospitals, taxing available beds and resources. As of Sunday, local hospitals were treating 802 COVID-19 patients, or nearly double the amount from a week ago, according to Metro Heath officials.

“What I heard at our briefing last week is that it would take five, possibly six days, to get it completely staffed,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg told the Express-News. “All of the equipment is in there. The tents are in there. The beds are ready to go. It just needs people.”

According to Nirenberg, local officials are also working on plans to let specialty hospitals treat COVID-19 patients if general hospitals can no longer handle the influx.

As of Sunday, 265 of COVID-19 patients in local hospitals were in intensive care while 138 were on ventilators.

Those factors and others have moved the San Antonio area's Hospital Stress Score from "normal" to "high," according to Metro Health. It has not yet reached its highest threat level, "severe."

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