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Texoma hospitals feeling strain due to rising COVID cases

City of Vernon
Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 6:27 PM CDT
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VERNON, Texas (KAUZ) - Because of the rise in COVID cases, hospitals in Texoma are struggling to take care of patients. Wilbarger General Hospital in Vernon has reached full capacity.

“It’s really, really a problem,” said Tom Siemers, Wilbarger General Hospital CEO.

With limited staff, limited number of beds and an overwhelming number of patients, Siemers is struggling. He said his staff is doing all they can to take care of patients but time is running out and Carrie Hawkins, the hospital’s director of marketing, agrees.

“Until we get additional staffing, there’s no guarantee that if you come to the ER and you need to be admitted to the hospital that there will be a place for you,” said Hawkins.

Siemers said there’s a way this can be fixed.

“The state of Texas really needs to step up and help these particularly rural hospitals like ours,” said Siemers.

Siemers said hospitals all over are suffering and the past 24 hours has been crucial for Wilbarger General Hospital.

“We’ve had five COVID admissions that people wanted to send from other hospitals that wanted to transfer to us but we don’t have enough. We can’t. We don’t have enough staff to take care of that many patients,” said Siemers.

Whether you’re vaccinated or not, medical experts say you need to have a plan in place because things are changing quickly.

“If you think you’re gonna be admitted for a hospital locally, whether it’s Wichita Falls for Abilene or wherever, you may not be admitted in the state of Texas,” said Siemers. “The closest bed maybe in Kansas.”

Siemers said every hospital needs more nurses right now and more people need to get vaccinated. If not for yourself, he said do it for your community.

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