Hidalgo County to create alternative treatment center if coronavirus spike continues
An alternative treatment center is under consideration in Hidalgo County, the county health authority said Wednesday.
It's an idea gaining momentum as the number of overall cases, the percentage of tested patients with positive results, hospitalization rates and the death toll continue increasing with alarming speed.
Dr. Ivan Melendez, the Hidalgo County health authority, said county leaders have met with state officials to discuss the the plan.
"We've also requested the discussion for an alternative treating center which means that with the assistance of the state we could potentially identify a building that's currently not being used," Melendez said.
Through combined efforts, the building would be repurposed.
"For example, just to give an example, a hotel that's no longer being used and convert these buildings into areas that we could provide additional care for COVID patients should that be the case," Melendez said.
Another 373 people tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday in Hidalgo County.
Last week, the percentage of people testing positive had risen to 5% from 3%. As of Wednesday, Melendez said the rate was 7%, just two points shy of the state's average.
Melendez is also paying close attention to the resources used throughout the county. On Wednesday, there were a total of 185 people hospitalized. The week prior, Melendez was concerned about the total nearing 80.
Wednesday also served as a grim marker. Four people died in a single day in the county.
County officials report there are currently 2,217 people pending their results. They will be staying vigilant. If they see the upward trend continue, the county plans to enact the plan for the alternative treating center.
"The plan is there. The request is there to the state. They've come. We've had meetings. We've discussed it, and if the trend continues at the rate it's going that would be the next step," Melendez said.
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