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State deploys far less medical workers to East Texas hospital system than during January’s hospitalization peak

Tyler-Longview area hospitalizations increase by 450 patients in one month
UT Health East Texas in Tyler.
UT Health East Texas in Tyler.(Blake Holland/KLTV)
Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 1:13 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas hospital system is getting some help from the state when it comes to additional healthcare workers, but it’s significantly less than deployed during the January peak.

A total of 19 RAC staffers have been deployed to UT Health East Texas hospitals, including 14 registered nurses and five respiratory therapists. During the winter surge, 198 additional staffers were deployed to hospitals throughout the UT Health East Texas system. 146 of those people were registered nurses, according to a hospital spokesperson. The nurses deployed this week are for the entire division, which includes multiple hospitals.

East Texas hospital leaders had expected less help considering a nationwide shortage in nurses. The deployment of medical workers comes as COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rapidly increase in Trauma Service Area G, the region including Tyler and Longview.

575 people were hospitalized with the virus in Area G on Tuesday, Aug. 17, according to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services. That’s an increase of 24 patients from the day before, and an increase of 450 people in just one month. The state reported 15 ICU beds were open in Area G, two less than the day before.

A map showing Trauma Service Areas across the state of Texas.
A map showing Trauma Service Areas across the state of Texas.(Courtesy photo)

In Deep East Texas, 117 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday, down eight patients from the day before. Five ICU beds were available in Trauma Service Area H, three more ICU beds than the day before.

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