- A region of Texas that includes Austin has no staffed ICU beds available for adults.
- The shortage comes as the US faces another surge of COVID-19.
- Some hospitals could soon have to ration life-saving care, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday.
An 11-county region of Texas that includes Austin has run out of staffed adult ICU beds, according to Texas Department of State Health Services data.
The area, which serves a population of more than 2.3 million residents, has 245 adult COVID-19 patients currently in ICU beds, according to the data. There are also 14 pediatric patients being treated for the virus in the ICU.
The shortage of staffed ICU beds comes as the US continues to battle a surge in COVID-19 cases.
On Sunday, Austin Public Health urged residents to get vaccinated.
“We are seeing little to no available intensive care unit beds and increased strain on hospital staff due to the Delta virus and its infection of unvaccinated individuals,” Austin Public Health told KVUE in a statement Sunday. “We have vaccines that are safe and effective in protecting people who are fully vaccinated from severe illness and death. Each of us has the responsibility to keep our community safe.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday that some US states are “perilously close” to having to ration life-saving care.
Nearly 79% of all ICU beds in the US are full, while more than three out of ten ICU beds are currently occupied by patients with COVID-19, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
“The thing to do right now is to pull out all the stops on everything we can do to prevent new infections which will ultimately lead to hospitalization,” Fauci said in an interview with CNN. “Vaccination is the number one.”