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Austin-area ICU capacity reaches lowest point since start of COVID-19 pandemic

State data shows that there are just 13 beds available for a population of about 2,375,407.
Credit: KVUE

AUSTIN, Texas — According to Department of State Health Services (DSHS) data, Austin-area ICU capacity has reached its lowest point since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently, only 13 hospital beds remain available in the Capital Area Trauma Service Area (TSA O). That's 13 beds for an estimated population of over 2,375,407. ICU bed availability is at 1.8%.

TSA O includes:

  • Bastrop County
  • Blanco County
  • Burnet County
  • Caldwell County
  • Fayette County
  • Hays County
  • Lee County
  • Llano County
  • San Saba County
  • Travis County
  • Williamson County
Credit: KVUE

As the more contagious delta variant spreads across the country and COVID-19 cases rise, particularly among the unvaccinated, area ICUs are struggling with space as ICUs are filled more so than during the spikes of January 2021 and July 2020.

A total of 130 COVID-19 patients are in area ICUs. That's 19% of the total ICU capacity for the state. This number is not the highest we've seen for the area. That number was set at over 40% back in the winter.

Credit: KVUE

According to the City of Austin's COVID-19 dashboard, as of Thursday afternoon's update, there have been a total of 88,887 cases, 85,622 recoveries and 900 deaths reported in Travis County alone. Currently, 325 are hospitalized in the county, with 109 in ICUs and 62 now on ventilators.

Earlier this week, the Texas Nurses Association confirmed that the majority of COVID-19 patients in hospitals right now are unvaccinated.

Nurses are burned out,” CEO Cindy Zolnierek said in a press release. “ICU units are full. We are all tired of this; nurses are tired of this.”