New cases of Covid-19 soar as hospital operates at ‘maximum capability.’


By SARA VANDEN BERGE


Erath County officials on Tuesday reported 42 new cases of Covid-19; 26 in Stephenville, three in Dublin and 13 in the county.


The situation, they say, is becoming increasingly dire as local hospitalizations increase to 16 and the spread of the virus shows no sign of slowing down.


“It’s getting worse in all of North Central Texas; there are just no beds,” Stephenville’s health authority Dr. Kelly Doggett told Beneath the Surface News. “Some hospitals are using hallways and lobby areas for patient beds. Patients that would normally be hospitalized are being sent home. That’s not the hospital’s fault; there is literally nowhere to put them and not enough staff to take care of them.”

Dr. Doggett said respiratory technicians have been sent to Texas Health Stephenville to assist the hospital, which is reportedly operating at maximum capability. The state is also expected to send in additional nurses this week.


“Tough choices are going to have to be made. People have not stopped having heart attacks, strokes and car wrecks. These people need to be taken care of and need beds as well, but there aren’t any,” Doggett said. “We’ve pretty much doubled the census of what we had been recently running and we were full to our capability then.”


He said people are in a “frenzy” to get the vaccine, but there just isn’t enough to meet the demand.


“Eventually there will be enough for all, but right now we need to focus on not getting or transmitting the virus. There is a good chance that there are healthy people in Erath County right now out and about, living their normal lives, that will get Covid-19 and die.


“They don’t have to. They can do what we’ve been telling them all along. Wear a mask, maintain social distancing, wash your hands and stay away from crowds.


“It’s not rocket science. It’s been proven to work. It’s not hard and cost essentially nothing. There is no reason not to do it. I wish I could get people to listen to me. I’ve not steered anyone wrong yet and everything I have told them has come to fruition or even worse. I did not create or invent anything I’ve said. I just listen to the science and true experts.


“It’s just common sense.”