Hendrick official: ICU ‘near capacity,’ 75% of COVID-19 patients not vaccinated, half on ventilators

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) — Hendrick Health officials say their Intensive Care Unit is “near capacity” due in part to a surge in COVID-19 cases amongst mostly people who have not been vaccinated.

This comes days after hospital officials announced they would be releasing the Community Safety Dial three times a week due to a recent spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

In a news conference Friday morning, Hendrick Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Rob Wiley said 11 of 22 ICU patients have COVID-19, and of 20 total patients in the hospital with the virus, 10 are currently on ventilators.

Dr. Wiley says three out of four COVID-19 patients currently in the hospital have not been vaccinated, and the other one out of four is there “most likely” due to the delta variant.

Hendrick Health says they had 133 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 from July 7-15. Of those 133 patients, 12 had received at least one dose of the vaccine.

That means just more than 90% of those patients had not received any doses of the vaccine.

The delta variant, which is becoming the dominant strain in the U.S., is affecting the younger population more and is more contagious, according to Dr. Wiley.

Although the delta variant is more contagious, those who have been vaccinated will likely experience less severe symptoms if they were to contract the strain, Dr. Wiley said.

The median age of COVID-19 patients currently at Hendrick is 45-55 years old.

Dr. Wiley and other hospital officials say they encourage everyone in Abilene and the surrounding area to get fully vaccinated against the virus.

To schedule your vaccine appointment with Hendrick Clinic Screening and Vaccination in Abilene, text “covidhelp” to 325-216-4824. In Brownwood, call the Brownwood-Brown County Health Department at 325-430-7605 or 325-430-7607.

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