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Coastal Bend hospital vacancy rate at lowest rate in pandemic

Local hospitals averaging 2.2 percent vacancies because of COVID-19
Annette Rodriguez
Posted at 4:33 PM, Sep 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-08 19:06:26-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Vacancy rates in area hospitals are at their lowest levels during the pandemic, according to Texas A&M associate professor Dr. Christopher Bird.

Bird said Wednesday during a Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District COVID-19 briefing that vacancy rates were averaging about 2.2 vacancies across the Coastal Bend. And in a couple of days it might have been even lower, he said.

"We're at the lowest rates we've ever seen during the pandemic," Bird said.

The causes for this lowering of the vacancies rates are because the COVID-19 cases have remained steady while staffing levels at local hospitals have declined.

"This isn't people playing with the numbers," Bird said. "Hospitals don't like their vacancy numbers to be at 2.2 percent. This is where we are really concerned about, with COVID, getting the level of care we get normally. And this isn't possible right now."

Bird said hospitals in Nueces County typically have an average vacancy rate between 35 and 40 percent.

And Bird said about 33 percent of hospital capacity in Nueces County is devoted soley to COVID-19 patients.

Public Health Director Annette Rodriguez said the soaring numbers are now largely those who have been unvaccinated against COVID-19

"It is your choice if you want to be get vaccinated or not," Rodriguez said. "We know with the third wave we refer to as the pandemic of the unvaccinated.

Here is a replay of the press conference here.