A Killeen hospital is experiencing a “stress on inpatient bed availability” as Bell County’s COVID-19 cases “surge,” officials said Thursday.

Kevin Roberts, CEO of AdventHealth-Central Texas, said the number of patients with COVID-19 has gone up, “putting stress on the hospital.”

Hospital officials stopped short of saying there was a shortage of beds at the hospital, and refused to say how many beds were available Thursday. They did say AdventHealth is still able to serve the area for medical reasons.

Roberts said releasing the number of beds available is “not helpful” to the public because the number of available beds is constantly changing.

Roberts encouraged local residents to get a COVID vaccine, and said the influx of COVID patients had made for a difficult situation. He would not say how many coronavirus patients the hospital has or how many ICU beds are available. He said the hospital does keep track of the number of beds it has available.

“This is not making it easy. This is making it harder,” he said.

“AdventHealth-Central Texas and AdventHealth Rollins Brook have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases at our hospitals, consistent with the recent surges throughout our community and region,”AdventHealth-Central Texas spokeswoman Mariana Rodriguez said in an email to the Herald Thursday. “Because of this, combined with the predictable demand for hospital beds, there is community-wide stress on inpatient bed availability, not limited to AdventHealth facilities.”

When asked, Rodriguez and Roberts would not provide a specific number of beds available in Killeen.

Rodriguez said the company’s hospital in Lampasas “still has some capacity, but that is limited.”

When asked about the COVID-19 spike, representatives from Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Temple and Seton Medical Center Harker Heights said they would provide updates on the hospitals’ bed availability Thursday. But as of deadline Thursday, neither hospital had responded with more information.

“AdventHealth remains vigilant and in constant contact with the CDC to monitor COVID-19 trends and recommendations to ensure the safety of our patients, staff and community,” Rodriguez said.

Krystal Reilly said she was at AdventHealth-Central Texas on Wednesday evening and witnessed the bed shortage herself from the waiting room.

“They had ambulances transporting people to other hospitals the entire 8 hours I was there (in the waiting area),” Reilly said on the Herald’s Facebook page. “Imagine being brought into the ER barely able to walk or talk with chest pain and the hospital says there’s worse patients ahead of you? No beds? This was happening.”

NUMBERS

Three new coronavirus deaths were reported by the Bell County Health District Wednesday evening, following a recent spike in cases.

The district’s online dashboard showed the county has 469 deaths, as of Thursday, along with 360 active cases of the virus. This includes 141 newly reported active cases since the health district once again started updating its dashboard last week.

The county reported 219 active cases of the virus last Friday.

The incidence rate has also risen to 99.2 cases per 100,000 people — much higher than the rate of 60.3 cases per 100,000 reported last week.

PREVENTION

The AdventHealth-Central Texas spokeswoman stressed the importance of preventative COVID-19 measures.

“We cannot emphasize enough the importance of vaccinations, which is the ONLY reliable therapy to prevent infection if you come into contact with the virus,” Rodriguez said. “Masking also is important, particularly in our unvaccinated population, since it can limit exposure.”

Rodriguez offered additional information on how residents can get vaccinated.

“This recent surge is evidence that Bell County has an opportunity to improve in both of these areas,” she said. “Covid-19 vaccines are widely available throughout the community. The Texas Department of State Health Services website provides an online registration option, or you can call 833-832-7067 for a referral to a local vaccine provider. Additionally, vaccinations are offered at AdventHealth Family Medicine Rural Health Clinic at Lampasas, or you may call or visit the website of any local retail pharmacy for vaccine availability.”

Herald staff writer Jacob Brooks and Shane Monaco with FME News Service contributed to this report.

ldodd@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7567

(5) comments

ResistTyranny

This is what these so called "experts" are trying to push for

I will NEVER trust another Dr. or nurse or medical "professional" again.

Doctors are supposed to take a oath to do NO harm. I guess they don't do that anymore.

These doctors and govt officials should read the Nuremberg codes.

In an explosive speech in the Dutch parliament, party leader Thierry Baudet revealed that many of the draconian pandemic measures that governments around the world have subjected their populations to for more than 15 months are contained in a document that is more than ten years old.

VAERS COVID Vaccine Data (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System, USA)

329,021 Reports Through June 4, 2021

DEATHS 5,888

HOSPITALIZATIONS 19,597

Urgent Care 43,891

OFFICE VISITS 58,800

ANAPHYLAXIS 1,459

BELL’S PALSY 1,737

Life Threatening 5,885

Heart Attacks 2,190

Myocarditis/Pericarditis 1,087

Thrombocytopenia/Low Platelet 1,564

Miscarriages 652

Severe Allergic Reaction 15,052

Disabled 4,583

ResistTyranny

Will you submit and obey?

We will either stand up and be reckoned with as free men and women or we will sit down forever and accept any degradation, any humiliation.

In that case, we shall have proved worthy of such treatment. Future generations, will look upon us with the same mixture of incomprehension and contempt that our generation looked upon those who meekly lined up naked in queue for their turn at the edge of the pit. It will come to that in time.

These so called experts, doctors, nurses, hospitals that are pushing this experimental injection should be held liable for any deaths from these shots.

ResistTyranny

SUCH BS

Noneofyourbiz

I agree 👍, Austin just had a press conference with the mayor and judge and are going back to stage 3.

This is nothing more than a political stunt being done by our local political party in hopes to do the same, to enforce more control over the people and to distract us from the 7.00 water street fee they will be adding,, along with taking out a high bond.

This is nothing more than a stunt to cover up the runaway representatives.

ResistTyranny

If this is true about the hospitals which I doubt since we already saw that they were marking every death and every illness as the china flu, I am pretty sure its their death shots that they are trying to coerce people into taking that are causing their spikes and deaths. The obituaries all over the country have eerily ticked up since the roll out of the shots. And yes whenever there is something big in the media you have to wonder what they are trying to distract you from. 2022 Elections are coming next year too so they want to try to push for those mail in and drop off ballots again. Funny all those demoncrats were on that plane without mask.

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