By IVAN PEREIRA, ABC News
(HOUSTON) — The rise in new COVID-19 cases in Texas is gotten so taxing that a children’s hospital in Houston is now admitting adult patients.
The Texas Children’s Hospital said it opened up its intensive care unit and acute care-beds to adults who are suffering from the virus. Houston has 14,322 confirmed cases to date and over the last two weeks has seen a record number of new daily cases that average over 200 a day, according to the Houston Health Department.
The city has seen 196 deaths from the virus so far, according to Health Department data.
“We are committed to doing our part to assist the city as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise,” a spokeswoman for the Texas Children’s Hospital said in a statement.
The hospital is the largest pediatric medical facility in the country with 754 beds.
The number of Houston COVID-19 patients in hospital beds has jumped from 394 on June 1 to 957 on June 21, according to state health data. Coronavirus patients take up about 14% of the city’s health beds, Health Department data shows.
The state, which was one of the first to ease back on coronavirus restrictions, has seen an increase in new cases over the last few weeks. Since June 1, the average number of new daily cases has been around 2,214, according to Health Department data.
The number of beds in the state being used by COVID-19 patients jumped from 601 June 1 to 1,351 on June 21, according to state health data. Coronavirus patients make up about 13.5% of the state’s health beds, according to the health department.
So far, 2,192 people have died from the virus in Texas, the health department said.
During a news conference last week, Dr. John Zerwas, a University of Texas System official, said he spoke with some of the state’s pediatric hospitals who agreed to raise the age limit for patients to help with the coronavirus load.
“The children’s hospitals are truly in the game and they want to be in the game,” he said at the news conference.
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