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Canales discusses how county is proactive in COVID fight

Judge Barbara Canales
Posted at 2:22 PM, Jul 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-13 19:56:23-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Social distancing and wearing masks are now part of our daily routine, but cases keep climbing and the death toll gets higher.

What else can be done to stop the spread and end the deaths?

Spohn Memorial has played a pivotal role during the pandemic as the county’s primary testing site. Now, this old hospital will play a larger role, treating COVID-19 patients.

“Memorial Campus is a very important asset of Nueces County,” said Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales.

Canales knows the county has to take a proactive approach because local hospital beds are in short supply.

“We’ve already seen the surge, it’s already happened to us,” said Canales. “What’s going to happen when we run out of beds at both medical facilities?”

To help ease the burden on hospitals, the county has plans for two buildings on the Spohn Memorial campus. One will become a COVID clinic, where doctors can treat patients in order to keep them out of emergency rooms.

“I refer to that as the Memorial Campus, but it is the Physician’s West building,” said Canales. “The alternate care site is the two-story addition built in the 1980s to the big Memorial tower.”

That alternate care site is the 40 bed unit the county has talked about since March , and Canales says she wants to add another 40 beds.

“Having extra beds is a good thing, but what everybody also recognizes is that our hospitals cannot run this facility,” said Canales.

If not from our hospitals, then where will the staff come from? Canales says she’s asked for federal and state and state help… in the form of the military.

“Texas is a military state,” said Canales. “We have tremendous amount of field hospitals in Texas, we have medical corps, we have joint base San Antonio that has a tremendous amount of assets.”

Once the paperwork has been signed, Spohn Memorial will literally have a new lease on life.