Houston Methodist Hospital in Sugar Land announced it is seeing an “alarming spike” in the number of COVID-19 cases across the Houston area, and almost all the new cases are unvaccinated individuals.
Hospital executives said they experienced the steepest increase in COVID-19 cases over the past weekend.
“The increased hospitalizations add stress to many of our hospitals that are nearing capacity,” said Chris Siebenaler, regional senior vice president and CEO of Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.
“A week ago today, Houston Methodist had a little over 100 COVID-19 patients across our hospital system. Today, we have more than 185 COVID-19 patients.”
Houston Methodist-Sugar Land Hospital has 28 COVID-19 patients presently, Siebenaler reported.
“The vast majority of those hospitalized are unvaccinated,” he said. “Approximately 85% of our hospitalized COVID-19 patients have the Delta variant, and we now have identified our first Lambda variant.”
OakBend Medical Center also reporting an increase in new COVID-19 cases, and, as with Houston Methodist, most of the new cases are individuals who are unvaccinated and have the dreaded Delta variant.
“Looking at the patients we have had admitted to the hospital for COVID, as far as we can tell none of them had been vaccinated,” said Dr. Edward O. Uthman, M.D., who has over 43 years in anatomic and clinical pathology.
Uthman currently sits on the OakBend Board of Directors. He is a former Physician of the Year and Chief of Staff.
He is currently serving on many committees, including the COVID ad hoc committee.
Most of the new cases at OakBend are younger individuals, the hospital reported.
According to the Fort Bend County Health and Human Services COVID-19 dashboard, 86 new cases were reported on July 20, the last time the dashboard was updated.
So far, there have been 60,720 confirmed cases in Fort Bend County since March 5, 2020. Of those, 59,169 have recovered and 733 have perished.
Some 221,157 individuals have been vaccinated at the county’s free vaccination sites. However, Fort Bend County residents also may be vaccinated outside the county or at private hospitals and clinics who don’t report their vaccinations to the county.
Uthman said vaccinations do not necessarily protect individuals from catching COVID-19.
“Even though you have received the vaccine, note that it does not “prevent” getting COVID, you may still get COVID,” he said. “You can definitely get COVID, and you can spread it to others, but it is very unlikely that you would get seriously ill enough with it to be admitted.”
Said Siebenaler: “Houston Methodist Sugar Land and our medical leaders across the system say we, as a community, need to step up our vigilance and impress upon people to get vaccinated and decrease virus spread,” said.