Town Square

How Are Hospitals Dealing With The Post-Thanksgiving COVID Rise? And What’s The Plan For Vaccine Rollout In Houston?

We take a closer look at what Houston hospitals are seeing with COVID patients and what’s really happening with the increase in cases. Plus, more on the topic on everyone’s mind – vaccine rollout.

In this Nov. 24, 2020, file photo, Dr. Shane Wilson performs rounds in a portion of Scotland County Hospital set up to isolate and treat COVID-19 patients in Memphis, Mo. Arguments over mask requirements and other restrictions have turned ugly in recent days as the deadly coronavirus surge engulfs small and medium-size cities that once seemed a safe remove from the outbreak.

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Town Square with Ernie Manouse airs at 3 p.m. CT. Tune in on 88.7FM, listen online or subscribe to the podcast. Join the discussion at 888-486-9677, questions@townsquaretalk.org or @townsquaretalk.

You might say it's the best of times, and it's the worst of times.

Vaccines are coming, but there's also a rise in COVID cases locally and nationally.

We're at what some call the "beginning of the end" of this pandemic.

Though it may feel like we could all get a vaccine any day now, the reality is that vaccine rollout won't happen overnight and will unfold over a longterm.

What will happen in the meantime?

We got through Thanksgiving, but at what cost? And how do we stay safe through the December holidays?

Today, experts walk us through all of that, and what vaccine rollout means for the country and for our Houston area.

Guests are:

Dr. Cedric Dark:

  • Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine
  • ER doctor in Houston

Dr. Umair Shah:

  • Executive Director for Harris County Public Health (through Dec. 18, 2020)
  • Appointed the next Secretary of Health for the state of Washington under Governor Jay Inslee (beginning Dec. 21, 2020)

Houston Public Media reporter Matt Harab also joins Ernie with headlines from Houston and beyond, including:

  • State hospitals are reporting today that just over 26% of the ICU beds in Texas are being taken by COVID patients.
  • Harris County closely mirrors those numbers today, with just under 25% of ICU beds in the county taken by COVID patients (or 383 beds).
  • 355 of those 383 ICU beds in use by COVID patients are in the Texas Medical Center.
  • Texas Medical Center hospitals reported yesterday that 96% of their ICU beds are currently in use.

Town Square with Ernie Manouse is a gathering space for the community to come together and discuss the day's most important and pressing issues.

Audio from today’s show will be available after 5 p.m. CT. We also offer a free podcast here, on iTunes, and other apps.

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Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Content Producer & Announcer

While growing up in Chicago and Houston, Catherine’s love for art, music and creative writing was influenced by her teachers and parents. She was once concertmaster of the Clear Lake High School Orchestra and a four-time violinist of the Texas All-State Symphony. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Catherine...

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