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University Health adapts to rising coronavirus cases and limited space

Dr. Jason Bowling noted there are ramifications as a result of accommodating more coronavirus patients such as delaying elective surgical procedures.

SAN ANTONIO — University Hospital is among several medical facilities in the San Antonio area faced with the ever-increasing challenge of caring for coronavirus patients during a time were cases are going up.

Bexar County medical centers are working with over 1,300 patients impacted by the virus.

Dr. Jason Bowling, who works as an infectious disease specialist at University Health, stressed the hospital has made adjustments in response to the rise in coronavirus patients.

“We’re having to do things like scale back on elective procedures, delay surgical procedures that patients need so that we can have the bed space, bed capacity for people who are acutely ill so there are real ramifications. When we’re talking about making these adjustments, we are doing that but there is a cost.”

Field hospitals built last summer at the the Freeman Expo Hall are on standby in the event Bexar County hospitals can’t take in any more patients due to capacity issues.

Doctors and nurses are working around the clock caring for all patients during the pandemic.

Bowling stressed it’s vital the community continues to follow all safety measures through the coming months even with the vaccine being rolled out.

“It’s concerning obviously. We wished we hadn’t gotten this high. I think at this point the focus is on doing whatever we can to mitigate further spread. I think obviously people have been doing this for awhile now and so everybody’s looking to see if can get past this peak. Now that we’re seeing vaccinations, there’s a little bit of light in the tunnel,” Bowling said.