by Stephen Love, President/CEO, Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council
We understand that the increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations is creating concern in our community. We certainly understand and appreciate Governor Abbott’s efforts on behalf of public safety to preserve hospital capacity and ensure treatment for Texans that are infected with COVID-19. In the spirit of supporting our Governor in his ongoing efforts, we wanted to share some thoughts with you.
Hospital CEOs across North Texas have been monitoring the ongoing transmission rates of COVID-19 in our community and across the state since the earliest days of the pandemic. In response to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, we want to reassure the public that this pandemic is not eclipsing our capabilities. Our hospitals currently have the ICU capacity, staff and supplies to meet the health care needs of our community. In addition, North Texas hospitals continue to reserve capacity for COVID-19 patients and safe medical care will continue to be routinely provided without burdening the overall hospitalization capacity.
For months, each hospital has prepared to address the anticipated needs of this pandemic and have surge plans in place to successfully manage their capacity to continue treating both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients. Additionally, our hospitals are working together to manage capacity levels to ensure the highest quality care for everyone. We will continue to work closely with state leadership and public health experts to help maintain statewide visibility on acute capacity issues and other critical concerns.
While this pandemic is unprecedented, our hospital systems have learned much over the past few months. Coordinated efforts have allowed us to nimbly respond to this fluid situation. As leaders, we attest to and applaud the unwavering efforts of our workforce in caring for those with COVID-19 and those seeking care for other urgent medical needs. We are ready to serve the community and will continue to do so in the safest way possible. Through testing, strict screening, and dedicated efforts to separate potentially infectious patients from the general population, hospital care is safe and available for everyone needing medical treatment.
As we continue to navigate this pandemic, the public plays an essential role in helping preserve hospital capacity. It is critical to wear a mask or face covering anytime you leave your home, practice appropriate physical distancing by avoiding large crowds and gatherings, wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, and avoid touching your face.
Responding to emergencies is a strength of our North Texas hospitals. Our mission and responsibility is to provide the care our community needs. We must maintain a thoughtful balance between caring for those impacted by COVID-19 and addressing all other urgent health care needs, including critical surgeries and procedures. We stand ready and committed to provide you and your family with the health care you need.