AUSTIN (KXAN) — As COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations amongst college students climb, a bunch of Texas physicians is asking Gov. Greg Abbott to reverse his choice to ban COVID-19 vaccine and masks mandates in colleges. They’re additionally asking state legislators to facet with them as the difficulty is mentioned in particular session.
In a information briefing Thursday, three physicians, who’re all members of the Committee to Shield Well being Care, talked about how determined Texas hospitals are and pointed to an increase in case numbers tied to colleges statewide, which they are saying could possibly be helped if colleges might mandate vaccines and masks.
The Committee to Shield Well being Care was initially a Fb group created to oppose a few of President Donald Trump’s insurance policies on well being care and has since grown to a company that addresses a variety of well being care points. The group has traditionally opposed Republican-backed measures associated to well being.
“The hazard of those insurance policies to individuals’s well being and security couldn’t be clearer,” Dr. Erin Amjadi, an inner medication doctor practising in Austin, stated of Abbott’s mandates. Amjadi stated greater than 20,000 COVID-19 circumstances have been tied to Texas colleges since August 2.
“Our children are being put immediately in harms method,” she stated.
As of this week, the Texas Division of State Well being Companies (DSHS) is now offering hospital and capability numbers damaged down into grownup and pediatric classes, which supplies us a greater concept of how many individuals in our hospitals are school-aged. As of Thursday’s replace, there are 282 youngsters in Texas hospitals with COVID-19.
There are 81 out there staffed pediatric ICU beds throughout the whole state of Texas, based on DSHS’ dashboard.
“After 18 months of this COVID pandemic, I am amazed the place we’re as a state,” Dr. David Portugal, a heart specialist close to Houston, stated.
Abbott’s workplace responded, saying it strongly encourages all eligible Texans get vaccinated.
“Texans have discovered and mastered over the previous 12 months the secure practices to guard themselves and their family members from COVID, and don’t want the federal government to inform them how to take action,” Renae Eze, Abbott’s press secretary, stated in a written response to KXAN. “Each Texan has a proper to decide on for themselves and their youngsters whether or not they may put on masks, open their companies, or get vaccinated.”
Eze additionally pointed to the rising variety of eligible Texans who’ve not too long ago gotten their vaccine and enhanced security precautions at school districts. She additionally stated the governor is in common contact with state docs, DSHS and TDEM to “get pictures in arms and supply help to communities throughout the state.”
That DSHS dashboard additionally offers pediatric knowledge damaged down by trauma service space (TSA). Within the 11-county area Austin is inside, there are 11 pediatric COVID-19 circumstances in hospitals and solely two out there pediatric ICU beds.
Whereas KXAN has confirmed the numbers listed on this article are correct with DSHS, it ought to be famous the DSHS dashboard had inaccurate numbers listed for regional pediatric ICU capability this week. DSHS says workers did not change from a template file to actual knowledge after they cut up pediatric and grownup hospitalization numbers. They’ve since pulled these inaccurate numbers down and up to date their dashboard with actual knowledge.
Dr. Desmar Walkes, the native well being authority, confirmed Tuesday there was a COVID-19 pediatric loss of life reported final weekend, the realm’s first. That youngster was vaccinated, based on APH, and had underlying well being circumstances. They’d been on a ventilator for roughly a month.
APH has stated throughout each briefing vaccines are nonetheless the very best safety in opposition to the virus.
Because the starting of July, 108 individuals below the age of 18 have been admitted into space hospitals with COVID-19, 33 within the ICU.
“Simply within the final week in Travis County we had 817 circumstances with 17,240 shut contacts recognized,” Walkes stated of case numbers in colleges. There have been 67 clusters recognized in Travis County college districts because the starting of the varsity 12 months, she reported.