What the Current COVID-19 Surge Means for You and Your HealthJune 26, 2020 - Katie McCallum
It's hard to ignore the anxiety surrounding the spike in COVID-19 cases across the Greater Houston area over the last few weeks. What we're all probably wondering right now is: What does this spike in cases mean for me?
At its simplest, it means wholeheartedly recommitting to the COVID-19 prevention basics, including:
- Social distancing
- Wearing a mask
- Practicing excellent hand hygiene
- Monitoring yourself for COVID-19 symptoms
- Knowing what to do if you think you have COVID-19
At its most complex, it means warning signs are flashing for our community's health.
If things continue as they are, hospitals across our city could potentially become overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients — interrupting care for people whose chronic health conditions didn't just disappear when this pandemic began, or people whose medical emergencies didn't wait for the curve to flatten.
It means your overall health and wellness could be affected. It means your loved ones' overall health and wellness could be affected. It means the entire community's overall health and wellness could be affected. And, right now, our health and wellness is more important than ever.
The current spike in cases hasn't gone unnoticed by you — and it certainly hasn't gone unnoticed by our public health officials and state leaders, either. Yesterday, June 25, 2020, Governor Greg Abbott issued an order to help ensure that hospitals across the city continue to have sufficient capacity to care for COVID-19 patients.
You can rest assured, however, that Houston Methodist continues to have sufficient capacity to care for COVID-19 patients, as well as for the rest of our community. As always, we are continuously monitoring our hospital's capacity and have the ability to adjust it on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
Houston Methodist has the capacity to see you safely
For months, we've been preparing to address the anticipated needs of this pandemic — including potential spikes in cases. Our preparations have included putting surge plans into place so that we can successfully manage our capacity and continue to safely treat both COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients.
Despite the current spike in cases, know that our emergency rooms are still safe, doctor appointments with your primary care physician or specialists are still safe, imaging appointments like your annual mammogram are still safe, and elective surgeries like joint replacements are still safe.
Houston Methodist is open — safely seeing all patients and performing most procedures and surgeries. With enhanced safety measures in place, you can rest assured that our emergency departments, doctor offices, imaging centers and hospitals have the capacity to see you safely.
The extra precautions we're taking to keep you safe during your visit, include:
- Screening all patients when scheduling appointments and upon arrival
- Isolating COVID-19 patients from other patients, allowing us to treat everyone safely
- Wearing masks and other personal protective equipment while providing patient care
- Implementing enhanced cleaning and sanitizing processes to disinfect all equipment and surfaces
- Redesigning waiting rooms and check-in lines to ensure social distancing
- Continuously monitoring our hospital's capacity on a daily basis
- If you're ready to schedule an appointment or need help finding a doctor, call us at 713.790.3333. We can see you safely in the office or via video visit.
- If you're currently scheduled for labs, imaging or a doctor's visit at Houston Methodist, your appointment should take place as scheduled. If you are scheduled for surgery, you will be notified if there are any changes. Find more patient information here >