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.

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File
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.


To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>

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, 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.

Today in Houston Newsletter Signup
We're in the process of transitioning services for our Today in Houston newsletter. If you'd like to sign up now, fill out the form below and we will add you as soon as we finish the transition. **Please note** If you are already signed up for the newsletter, you do not need to sign up again. Your subscription will be migrated over.


This article is part of the Town Square with Ernie Manouse podcast

  • Subscribe on Apple Podcasts
  • Subscribe on Google Podcasts
  • Subscribe on Spotify
  • Subscribe on Stitcher
  • Subscribe on TuneIn
  • Subscribe on iHeart
  • Subscribe on Pandora
  • Subscribe on RadioPublic
  • Subscribe on Pocket Casts
  • Subscribe on Overcast
  • Subscribe on Amazon Music
  • Subscribe via RSS
Catherine Lu

Catherine Lu

Senior 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...

More Information