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Hundreds of nurses coming to San Antonio to help with surge in coronavirus hospitalizations

800 nurses from the Navy and across Texas are coming to San Antonio. As of Monday evening, 881 coronavirus patients are in local hospitals and 274 are in the ICU.

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said Bexar County is seeing a rush of admissions into hospitals, which is putting a high stress on the facilities.

As of Monday evening, 881 coronavirus patients are in the hospital. About 274 patients are in the ICU, and 154 are on ventilators. This is bringing a concern about having the staff to care for these patients. According to local officials, hundreds of nurses are heading to our area to deal with the surge. More than 800 nurses from the Navy and across the state are needed in San Antonio.

Meanwhile, one of the models from UT Health San Antonio indicate the hospital numbers are expected to double next week. Mayor Nirenberg said Monday that hospitalizations, patients in intensive care and patients on ventilators had all doubled in the last week.

Local officials are also reporting that half of all coronavirus patients ending up in the hospital do not have underlying conditions. 

Dr. Robert Leverence, the Chief Medical Officer of UT Health Physicians, said we could be following a similar situation that took place in New York. However, he said we do have some advantages: urban density is not the same, and San Antonio does not rely on public transit. 

"Nobody is immune to COVID," he said. "Anybody can get quite sick from it. And in addition COVID is highly infectious, much more infectious than the flu."

One of the latest model shows the number of patients in the hospital will double to 1,600 next week.

"What is going to stem the tide in this pandemic more than anything is individual behavior," he said. "Wearing masks, staying home, if we don't have to go out, socially distancing if we are going out. Washing our hands. "

It is nothing new to stop the spread, but even more critical now. Rudy Palacios Jr., is begging for the people, in our area, to listen. He is in the hospital with the virus.

"When COVID attacked me for 24-hours I was fighting for every single breath," he said. "It hurts.

For nearly two weeks, the 48-year-old has been in the hospital with the virus. His fight is no easy task.

"This pain is so intense," he said. "The flu looks silly."

Officials say 25 percent of all hospital admissions are for the virus. Hospitals are doing their part to ease the stress. Dr. Leverence said what we do right now is extremely critical, because  we could bend the curve in two weeks.

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