The number of hospitalized coronavirus patients in Harris County — which includes Houston — has nearly tripled since the start of the month, the outlet reported.
Texas Children’s will accept adult coronavirus patients in a special isolation ward and will also be treating adult patients for non-COVID-related ailments, according to the report.
Dr. Shubhada Hooli, an acute care pediatrician and scientist at the facility, tweeted that she’s “up for the challenge” but called on residents to help stop the spread.
“Please help us out,” she wrote. “#WearAMask and stay home.”
“COVID-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in the state of Texas, and it must be corralled,” he said. “We have several strategies to reduce the spread without shutting Texas back down, but it is up to all of us to do our part to protect ourselves and others.”
He stressed that he wants “all Texans” to follow the state’s health guidelines to try and tamp down on the virus’ spread.
Those include staying home when sick or at risk, rigorously cleaning one’s hands, maintaining social distancing and wearing face coverings or masks in public.
“COVID-19 hasn’t gone away, but neither has our ability to slow the spread of it,” he said.
And on Tuesday, he expanded local governments’ control over health-related rules for outdoor gatherings within their jurisdictions — lowering the threshold from 500 to 100 people.
“These are just some of the steps Texas will take to contain the rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations,” he said.
Texas has seen more than 120,000 reported cases of the coronavirus, over 2,000 deaths and an estimated more than 70,000 recoveries, according to the state’s health department.
Harris County has reported the most with over 23,000 cases. Dallas County ranks second with just under 18,000.