Abbott says Texas has 8,700 ventilators, declines to say how many are needed

by | Apr 3, 2020 | Coronavirus, Policy

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday that the state of Texas has 8,700 available ventilators.

When asked by reporters the number of ventilators the state actually needed, Abbott did not give a figure and said the state had more than enough based off studies he’s seen and said more could be acquired. 

The medical machines are crucial for saving the lives of patients with the most severe respiratory symptoms of the new coronavirus. In New York, the epicenter of America’s COVID-19 outbreak and a state with a population smaller than Texas’, Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state needs 30,00 ventilators.

Abbott detailed the figures today in a midday press conference addressing hospital capacity in Texas. The governor said 2,100 ICU beds and 19,700 hospital beds are available throughout the state. He said 41 percent of hospital beds in Texas are currently available. Most appeared to be around major metro areas.

The governor also said the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and Texas National Guard have already transformed a convention center in Dallas into the state’s first pop-up hospital, with more locations to come in Houston and San Antonio.

Abbott said that so far, more than 800 Texans have been hospitalized with symptoms related to COVID-19. 

The governor’s announcement comes the same day that Dallas County officials extended the county’s stay-at-home order until May 20. Earlier this week, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo extended the county’s stay-at-home order until April 30.

More than 5,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Texas with 90 fatalities, according to the latest figures from Texas Health and Human Services.

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

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