Officials: Waco has 521 hospital beds, 66 ventilators

Waco’s hospitals have 66 ventilators, 12 of which are now in use, and a total of 521 beds, but can expand capacity if needed. (File)
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Waco and McLennan County officials Wednesday provided a count of hospital beds and ventilators and announced that playgrounds, park fitness equipment, basketball courts, skate parks, tennis courts, the city’s Cottonwood Creek golf course and disc golf courses are being closed to the public to further contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

Goals will be removed from city basketball courts, restrooms will be closed and water fountains will be shut off, officials said.

All indoor facilities and sports fields will also be closed.

Trails and the river walk will remain open.

Last week the City of Temple closed basketball courts, volleyball courts playgrounds, pavilions and gazebos to the public.

Hike and bike trails, sports fields and the Miller Springs Nature Center remain open to the public.

As of early Tuesday afternoon, McLennan Count had 62 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Seven patients were hospitalized, four in critical condtion, 29 had recovered and one death, G.W. Carver Middle School Principal Phillip Perry, 49.

Almost 1,000 people in the county have been tested for the virus and of those, 4.5% tested positive in the outpatient system.

Numbers are low and should remain low as long as residents observe social distance guidelines, officials said.

Waco’s hospitals have 66 ventilators, 12 of which are now in use, and a total of 521 beds, but can expand capacity if needed.

Of the city’s 54 intensive care unit beds, 40 are now in use, officials said.

Supplies of protective gear for healthcare workers are adequate, officials said.

Officials said the Waco-McLennan County Health District will be providing additional demographic information about cases in the near future.

The health district’s COVID-19 website now includes an interactive map that shows where cases are concentrated.

The Heart of Texas Community Health Center in Waco, which has 16 clinics in the Waco area, is receiving a $1.98 million grant to help fight the spread of the virus, officials said.

The McLennan County Leadership Response Team, which includes representatives of the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District, Ascension Providence Hospital, Baylor Scott & White, the Family Health Center, Premier Care and other entities “is working together to ensure that all of our hospitals, clinics and other health care partners have the resources they need to take care of patients,” the team said.

The team is charged with ensuring healthcare workers have enough personal protection equipment, identifying alternative care sites and managing a potential surge in patients.

“There is adequate testing available for health care staff, first responders, people who have COVID-19 symptoms, and people who are at high risk for developing serious complications,” the team said.