EL PASO, Texas -- New data out Saturday from the Texas Department of State Health Services painted the bleakest picture to date of El Paso's hospital capacity during the coronavirus pandemic.
The El Paso region - which includes El Paso, Hudspeth and Culberson counties - has just eight Intensive Care Unit beds available collectively between all hospitals.
That number reflects the total ICU bed count, not just those utilized for Covid-19 patients. It is the scarcest availability of ICU beds since the virus outbreak began months ago.
The word from the state comes after reports by ABC-7 that El Paso hospital capacity was strained in recent weeks, with diversions taking place and some virus patients now being transferred from hospitals to nursing home Covid units.
According to an El Paso Department of Public Health tally released earlier Saturday, there were 97 Covid-19 patients listed in intensive care, marking the first time in ten days that the ICU count involving those with severe virus illness dropped below 100. Keep in mind, that count only includes virus patients and not others who may also occupy ICU space.