Doctors and nurses brace for another surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations

It’s been a little over a year since some of the first vaccines were administered to healthcare workers. It brought a renewed sense of hope.

Now one year and two surges later, they find themselves again preparing for an influx of new coronavirus patients.

All week, more and more people are testing positive for the contagious omicron variant.

There were 874 new COVID-19 cases reported Thursday in Dallas County. That’s compared to just 407 a week earlier.

Tarrant County is seeing a similar increase in cases and health officials expect they’ll see an increase in hospital patients in a few weeks too.

Perla Sanchez-Perez has been a nurse in Parkland Hospital’s intensive care unit since the pandemic started. She said she’s bracing for another surge.

"The numbers of Parkland for us don’t lie. The patients that we’ve gotten, for the most part, have been unvaccinated patients," she said. "My co-workers in our medicine ICU at Parkland Hospital, which are taking care of the vast majority of these COVID patients that are coming through the ICU and the med surge floors and on their PCU floors, they’re definitely seeing more of a spike."

Currently, the COVID-19 patient level in the North Texas hospital region is hovering just below 900.

The test positivity rate in Texas is at 16%. That’s the highest it’s been since August.

The White House said next month it will begin offering at-home COVID-19 tests that people can order online for free.

Until then, people will have to continue getting tested by their doctor or at a drive-thru clinic because most stores are sold out of the at-home tests.