AUSTIN, Texas — As of June 25, nearly 500 Texas physicians have signed a letter to the State of Texas officials, asking them to let Texas counties manage the spread of coronavirus as they see fit. This comes as the hospitalizations and COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Texas.
Gov. Greg Abbott said the state is facing a "massive outbreak" in the coronavirus pandemic. On June 24, Texas hit a record number of COVID-19 cases in a single day with more than 5,500. The following day, the governor issued an order, suspending elective surgeries in Travis, Bexar, Harris and Dallas counties as hospitalizations continue to rise.
In the letter signed by hundreds on June 22, physicians expressed their concerns.
"In just the past three weeks in Texas, the number of new COVID-19 cases per day have tripled from about 1,000 to over 3,000. Texas may have over 28,000 hospital beds available for COVID-19 patients," the letter stated. "However, does Texas have enough physicians, advanced practice care providers, nurses, respiratory therapists, and other health care providers to take care of all these patients? Additionally, as hospital numbers increase, we are very concerned that death rates and potentially avoidable negative outcomes will also increase because the level of care will not remain the same."
The physicians are asking state leaders to let counties manage the spread of the virus because "not all counties in Texas are affected by COVID-19 to the same magnitude."
"We do not think that a one-size-fits-all approach is best for the situation," the letter stated. "Thus, we urgently request that the state trust its local county and city officials, guided by their respective local physicians, to make informed choices regarding health policy and allow them to manage the spread of COVID-19 within their jurisdiction."
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