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Baylor Scott & White urges vaccination as ICU numbers near capacity

The hospital system said it may not be able to meet the "critical healthcare needs" of the community as ICU occupancy rates continue increasing.

TEMPLE, Texas — The Baylor Scott & White Medical System has around 125 staffed ICU beds between Bell and McLennan County. According to U.S. Department of Health and human services, nearly every single bed has been occupied over the past seven days. 

Baylor Scott & White said in a Tuesday statement "hospitals may not be able to meet the critical healthcare needs of our our community," if intensive care occupancy continues to rise.

According to a statement by Scott & White spokesman Deke Jones for both Baylor Scott & White and Ascension:

"Baylor Scott & White and Ascension Providence continue to monitor and adapt to COVID-19 activity within our community.

Each of our hospitals has a surge plan that includes the utilization of all available patient care space within our hospitals and in other settings across our healthcare system. While we will always make emergency care available, we may also have to adjust our staffing needs and limit the services we are able to offer to patients. In some cases, we may transfer patients between facilities within our healthcare systems in order to provide the most appropriate care. 

If the current surge continues and our intensive care unit (ICU) occupancy rate continues to increase, our hospitals may not be able to meet the critical healthcare needs of our community. We can avoid this if we change course now.  We urge the community to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones, and to lessen the burden on our frontline workers who have been fighting this virus for the last year and a half. COVID-19 vaccines are the safest and most effective way to end the pandemic."