Local doctor finds cause for hope in recent hospital data

Posted at 7:46 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 23:49:43-04

Hospitalizations and COVID-19 related deaths in the Coastal Bend have hit an all-time high in recent weeks. However, one local doctor says there may be better news in the upcoming weeks.

Corpus Christi Medical Center and CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital physician Dr. John Schulze said when he looked at the numbers Monday, more people were getting discharged from the hospital than being admitted.

“Depending on what day you walked into the Emergency Department, you may see that it looks out of control, with more people sitting in the halls and waiting for rooms," he said. "But that seems to have backed off a bit."

He said it could be because more people are wearing face masks, or that we’re more than two weeks removed from the Fourth of July holiday, where he said many people may have gathered in large groups and spread the virus.

However, he said the recent increase in numbers, also has put a strain on hospital staffing and equipment.

“We’re starting to see many of our nurses and nurse practitioners become ill which takes a big toll,” he said. “Right now both hospitals are taxed to the max. All the medical staff are working very hard to provide the necessary medical services. We even count ventilators every morning.”

Although he thinks we may be nearing a plateau, he said the novel coronavirus situation in the Coastal Bend likely will get worse before it gets better.

“The second wave comes this fall,” said Schulze, who also has his own practice. “That’s the part where I’m not sure what’s going to happen. I’m fearful for what that’s going to look like.”

Fear of the unknown is what lies ahead for many, including Maria Krueger, who lost her cousin to the virus on Sunday.

“He had been sick since July 9 and lost his battle to the virus,” she said. “But I don’t know if this is what they call a second wave, or if it’s going to get even worse in the fall. I hope not.”

Schulze also mentioned if everyone did things such as wear a mask, social distance and stay at home, it would help eliminate transmission of the virus.

He said it would help bring the virus under control in as little as two weeks.