FORT WORTH, Texas — Across North Texas, hospitals are seeing ICUs fill up. Doctors from the Texas Department of State Health Services say there is a steep rise in hospitalizations across the state. Health officials are asking fully vaccinated people to also start wearing a mask in high transmissible areas.
Inside of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth, nurses, doctors and health care workers are working around the clock.
The ICU is starting to fill up with COVID-19 patients. Many are infected with the Delta variant, and many are in need of oxygen.
“Those on ventilators are almost entirely those who haven’t been vaccinated,” said Dr. John Burk.
Burk specializes in pulmonary care and worked with the World Health Organization in Bihar, India.
Burk tells WFAA health care workers are constantly changing in and out of PPE equipment as they enter different rooms.
“Face shields in place, you see their eyes. You almost have to ask them to put their name across their face shields,” Burk said.
There is enough staff on hand but fatigue is inevitable, Burk said.
“Frankly, everybody is tired. We’ve been through this."
Burk wants to remind everyone of the symptoms of coronavirus. If you have a fever, feel weak, dizzy or lightheaded or have stomach issues, you need to get tested, and soon.
The Texas Department of State Health Services says numbers are up across the state.
“When you look at week-to-week trends, the 7-day average is up 92% from last week. hospitalizations are up 49%, and fatalities are up 15%,” said Chris Van Deusen, the director of media relations at DSHS.
And this week alone, the bar graphs have gone up daily.
Health officials are urging the public to get fully vaccinated.
“That second dose, the two-dose series, is really important to the effectiveness,” said Chief State Epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Shuford.
And, across the state, there are only 636 ICU beds available.
Burk says he’s seeing ICU beds filled with people ranging in age from their 20s to their 50s.
“Family is not able to be present, and sometimes the last thing they hear is 'We will do our best to take good care of you,'" Burk said.