WACO, TX — For seven consecutive days Trauma Service Area M has reached higher than 20% hospitalization rates.
On Jan. 3rd, the DSHS calculated an over 31% rate.
This puts Trauma Service Area M with the second highest hospitalization rate in the state of Texas.
Trauma Service Area M includes McLennan, Limestone, Falls, Bosque and Hill county.
"Seeing positivity rates climb at record rates right now is very concerning," CEO of the Family Health Center in Waco, Jackson Griggs M.D. said.
With a high hospitalization and positvity rate comes another sad statistic that many are trying to avoid when catching COVID-19.
"We're seeing higher and higher individuals needing hospitalization, at the same time we'll be seeing higher and higher death rates," Dr. Griggs said.
Waco Mayor Dillon Meek says as cases go up, more restrictions are unlikely, but not impossible.
"There would be benefit to our health care system but then there would be a detriment to our local economy," Mayor Meek said.
Local governments cannot establish stricter rules given by the Governor, therefore it's up to the community to keep numbers low.
"Right now the best way to ensure that businesses can stay open and that our local economy can stay open is to follow the advice and council of our local doctors," Mayor Meek said.
Although, with this rise comes a strain within the hospital.
"Adding this layer of need with all the COVID hospitalizations just makes everything immensely more challenging," Dr. Griggs said.
Both Ascension Providence and Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest in Waco have adapted plans to prepare for surges in hospitalizations. Ascension Providence stating the following;
Ascension Providence has been prepared to handle the surge in patient volumes with adequate space and supplies. We are fortunate as part of a regional and national system to make inter-hospital transfers when appropriate and necessary.
We have a surge plan in place that includes the utilization of all available patient care space within our hospitals and in other settings, across our healthcare system.
Even with a vaccine being distributed, Dr. Griggs worries many will rely on it to bring numbers to a minimal level.
"My concern is there will be a little interlude there will be a period of time and kind of take it easy because the case fatality rate is going down," Dr. Griggs said.
A slight decrease is to occur but not enough for the community to become lax.