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Las Palmas Del Sol continues diverting some patients amid ‘surge’ in virus hospitalizations

UPDATE: Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare facilities in El Paso continued to divert some patients on Sunday as the hospital group dealt with an ongoing surge in coronavirus patients needing care.

A spokesperson provided the following update in a statement to ABC-7 late Sunday afternoon about the unfolding situation...

"Our current Covid census is placing a disproportionate stress on our staffed bed capacity, and especially our ICU capacity, at this time. We are taking deliberate measures to mitigate this impact and to ensure we have the physical bed and staffing capacity needed to effectively manage this ongoing patient surge. In some cases, we may transfer patients between facilities within our healthcare system or across the local healthcare systems in order to provide the most appropriate care. Even if our hospital reaches a capacity where we cannot accommodate additional demand, we will always make emergency care available."

ORIGINAL REPORT: EL PASO, Texas -- The Las Palmas Del Sol Emergency Center began diverting patients Saturday in what was the first publicly known instance of hospital diversions to occur in El Paso amid the recent rise in hospitalizations due to Covid-19.

While Las Palmas Del Sol is the first to divert, other El Paso area hospitals including University Medical Center and The Hospitals of Providence have also seen a surge in patients over the past few weeks which corresponds to El Paso Department of Public Health data reflecting record amounts of coronavirus illnesses requiring hospital care.

In a statement late Saturday night to ABC-7, a Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare spokesperson confirmed information provided by multiple sources about the situation.

"Due to a surge in patient volume and in an effort to better deploy clinical and emergency resources across Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare, on Saturday, July 11, healthcare services provided at the Las Palmas Del Sol Emergency Center on North Zaragoza Road in east El Paso were temporarily consolidated into other Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare hospitals... We may also transfer patients between facilities within our healthcare system or across the local healthcare systems in order to provide the most appropriate care."

As of Sunday morning, El Paso hospitals had 277 Covid-19 patients, with 91 of those in intensive care units. Both are record numbers so far during this pandemic, according to the health department's count.

"This is a surge that is affecting all hospitals," UMC spokesman Ryan Mielke told ABC-7 on Sunday morning. He added that while UMC had "not reached capacity" as yet, it had "a surge plan in place — and we are carrying it out to make sure we can care for the patients we have."

According to state of Texas data this weekend, El Paso only had 32 remaining ICU beds that weren't occupied.

El Paso is not alone in dealing with this surge as the state of Texas has surpassed 10,000 current hospitalizations. Medical facilities in other parts of the state, most notably Houston and the Rio Grande Valley, have also reported diverting patients elsewhere over the past week.

Coronavirus / Coronavirus Video / El Paso / News / Top Stories / Video

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.



  1. Ok, but from where are these patients originating?

    Are we, as a community, sharing the Red China originated pandemic burden with our closest neighbor, Juarez?

    Sincerely, it’s ok. I understand people seeking THE BEST MEDICAL CARE. If they’re Americans or legal residents, bi-national, whatever – it’s ok.

    I’d simply like the local medical community to BE HONEST about WHY PATIENT LOAD is so high.

    (there’s lots of reporting CONFIRMING that BORDER COMMUNITIES are sharing Mexico’s Covid burden)

    1. Yes we are Jamesben. If you don’t like it pack your shit and get out of our border town. Those are the dynamics of living in a border town. Pack your trailer and head north.

    1. Teachers, actual pediatricians, not their political arm front group and parents WANT KIDS BACK IN SCHOOL.

      Kids are the least affected, BY FAR of any segment of society.

      And, GFY.

    1. Mark the buffoon wants kids to stay at home forever. You don’t have any kids so no skin off your hide. You love children as long as they belong to others.

    2. You are wrong as usual. The President is right as usual. You’re very narrow-minded so you don’t see the big picture. The long term effects of our students not being in school are substantial. Our students are already behind and they will fall further behind. It might seem like just a few months but there is an exponential component. The impact is much, much greater than missing few months of face to face education. This decision will set the education level of our country back by years if not an entire decade. The essential academic and social skills that are learned in Kindergarten through first grade will be severely impacted. It will have a negative impact on our economy, our health care, our prison and justice systems. All of this and more will be impacted.

  2. Original magga is Wrong as usual. S/he just reading off Trump’s Twilight Zone episode where there is a Pandemic and the president comes out of his bunker and goes on TV explaining that everything is Fine. Just a little virus going around that will disappear like magic. Then he goes back into his bunker and drinks Bleach. Rod Serling was a genius, but strange playwright.

    1. Keeping kids at home is far more dangerous to our country than making them stay home. Do you have school-aged children? Do you know anyone who does? How are kids responding? Do you even know? Have you looked at data from the Spring semester? Do you understand the concept of regression? Academically, physically and Socially? I can answer yes to every one of those questions. It’s not a pretty picture and it will have a huge negative impact on our future as a country.

      1. Sorry…..more dangerous then sending them to school. It just so happens I’m in a webinar about re-opening schools so I was a bit distracted.

        1. And kids in school passing along Covid to Teachers, to each other, and to their Parents is not more Dangerous? Too many factors in play where the virus can spread in a small classroom. Will there be plexiglass dividing students desks? Will classroom capacity be less than ten per classroom? Will the students wear masks at all times? Will air circulation in classrooms be adequate? Who will enforce these new requirements? The school classroom is a microcosm of our Country where our population is not heeding pandemic warnings. Think the classroom will be any different? I doubt it.

          1. Yes. All of those guidelines can be put in place. Plexiglass is already being installed in office and other high traffic areas. Hybrid scheduling will allow campuses to have reduced numbers of students on campus each day so classroom could be less than 1/2 capacity and probably even less than that. Plenty of room for social distancing. Strict cleaning protocols have been developed. We survived the H1N1 epidemic without any closures and only a small set or protocols/guidelines and that virus was far more dangerous to children.

    2. We are still waiting for your buddy crazy Joe Biden to come out of his basement and gaffe. Obviously you live in the Twilight Zone with your 60 schizo psycho buddies. All suffering from extreme TDS. You’d creep out Rod Serling.

  3. If adequate requirements to avoid virus spread are in place, then fine. But…where are the finances for all of this going to come from. If the money is there and spread equally among all school districts in the city, State, Country to provide schools with all that is needed to avoid spread and contamination that would be good. But if money given to inner city schools and rural schools during pre Covid19 days is any indication of equal spread of money coffers, it doesn’t look good. Kids are just another casualty of pandemic mismanagement by our politicians.

    1. School funding doesn’t work that way. Simply stated it is determined by enrollment. Then you add in the federal allowances based on many factors (low income, ESL, etc.) and it levels the playing field. You’d probably be surprised to know that the schools in the “richer” parts of town get far less money than those in “poorer” parts of town. Now, parental and alumni donations, parental involvement, etc. is a different story and many times, that is the biggest difference in school performance.

    2. Where? From the property tax payers idiot. I seriously doubt the school districts will do a rollback or rebate of property taxes like the car insurance companies recently did. Look forward to property tax increases across the board. School districts, city, county and hospital districts. But I heard you don’t pay property taxes.

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