Military medics, nurses and specialists have been dispatched to help overwhelmed hospitals in California and Texas as coronavirus cases continue to climb.
According to the Army Health Information website, Health.mil, 580 military and navy medical support personnel have been called in to help Texas hospitals grapple with the record number of cases of coronavirus.
Texas has reported nearly 22,000 new cases per day in the past 48 hours as well as 239 deaths, the highest number of cases and deaths reported since the start of the pandemic.
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“COVID-19 is spread in the workplace, it spreads to families, parties and gatherings,” Texas Health Commissioner John Hellerstedt said Friday.
An additional 85 medical team has been dispatched to help support a medical wing at a hospital in Houston.
“I am grateful to our federal partners in the Department of Defense for sending these teams to the valley and working within the community to protect public health and combat this virus,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott , in a statement earlier this week.
The Republican governor established a mask mandate earlier this month – a policy at odds with other GOP governors and President Trump, facing a backlash this week for refusing to reinstate the lockdowns.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo have urged the governor to apply lockouts in Houston, the city with the highest number of coronavirus cases in the state.
“Look, there’s no lockdown coming up right now,” Abott said Tuesday on a local WBAP radio show.
Texas, as well as another state of Sunbelt, Arizona, also had to call refrigerated trucks to help overflow the morgue.
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Several states across the United States have experienced record highs this week, contributing to record death rates the country is experiencing.
The new average daily mortality rate over the past week has increased 34% from two weeks ago, and the new number of daily cases has also increased by 43% over the same period.
The State of California has requested that 160 Air Force medics be placed in various intensive care units across the state as the number of new patients and deaths has broken records over the years. last few weeks.
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California, which has reported 258 deaths in the past 48 hours as well as nearly 20,000 new cases – the largest two-day total of confirmed cases – said hospital capacity remained manageable but medical staff were urgently needed.
“I think people mistakenly think of hospital capacity as a matter of beds and space,” said Carmela Coyle, president and CEO of the California Hospital Association. “It’s much more than a mattress and a pillow. The caregivers are the most important resource. ”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.