As of Sept. 1, the trauma service region comprising McLennan County in Central Texas has no available intensive care beds, with 33% of its hospital capacity being taken up by COVID-19 patients. The county also hit a daily record of COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, reporting more than COVID-19 500 cases, mainly among 11- to 19-year-olds.
Less than half the county’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Dr. Clint McHenry, president of the McLennan County Medical Society, says the county is seeing largely unvaccinated people being hospitalized. That’s why his society, along with 336 area physicians, wrote an open letter pleading with the public to get vaccinated if they haven’t already done so. He argues vaccinations are the way out of the surge in hospitalizations and cases as the delta variant spreads rapidly in Texas.
“We’re advocating people talk to their physicians, talk to their trusted, local physician. I mean, there is so much misinformation out there regarding the vaccine, and it’s overwhelming having to sort through everything,” McHenry told the Standard. “And so, we’re just asking that you talk to your physician and you just try to get the best, most up-to-date information.”
He says COVID-19 patients are putting an incredible strain on the area’s hospitals.
“Our community has definitely seen a huge increase in the number of COVID-positive patients requiring hospitalization, intubation, intensive care,” said McHenry. “We are doing everything we can to slow this down.”
Here’s is the letter, signed by McHenry and hundreds of other local physicians: