State Arranges For Out-of-State Medical Staff To Help Hospitals Amid COVID Surge

The Texas Department of State Health Services Wednesday announced an arrangement for the deployment of more than 2,500 medical personnel to help hospitals care for the increasing number of COVID-19 patients in the state amid a surge attributed to the highly contagious delta variant. 

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) said Wednesday the agency had informed cities, counties, and health care facilities that the state will resume filling requests for medical surge staff that can’t be met locally.

The announcement comes after Gov. Greg Abbott said earlier this week that the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) would use staffing agencies to provide medical personnel from out-of-state to Texas health care facilities to assist in COVID-19 operations amid the surge. Abbott also sent a letter to the Texas Hospital Association asking hospitals to voluntarily postpone elective medical procedures to increase hospital capacity. 

(Read: COVID Surge Straining Hospital Capacity)

The Texas DSHS asks that facilities continue to work with their counties, cities, and other partners to meet needs locally whenever possible, but they can submit an assistance request to the state if additional resources are required. 

The first deployment of personnel will be fully funded by the state through September 30.

“The State of Texas is taking action to ensure that our hospitals are properly staffed and supported in the fight against COVID-19,” said Abbott. “Texans can help bolster the state’s efforts to combat the virus by getting vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective, and it is our best defense against the virus.”

Locally, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said there were 29 adult ICU beds available in Dallas County as of Wednesday, according to the  North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council. 

Local officials also said there were e two pediatric ICU beds available in the local 19-county hospital region as of Tuesday.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

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