TX Hospital Forms Ethics Committee For COVID Triage

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports:

Starr County is at a dangerous “tipping point,” reporting an alarming number of new cases each day, data show. Starr County Memorial Hospital — the county’s only hospital — is overflowing with COVID-19 patients.

The county health board — which governs Starr Memorial — has been forced to create what’s being compared to a so-called “death panel.” It’s set to authorize critical care guidelines Thursday that will help medical workers determine ways to allocate scarce medical resources on patients with the best chance to survive.

A committee will deem which COVID-19 patients are likely to die and send them home with family, Jose Vasquez, the county health authority, said during a news conference.

The Austin Statesman reports:

State health officials reported 173 deaths attributed to the coronavirus Thursday, bringing the statewide death toll to 4,521. Officials also announced 9,507 new known cases, bringing the current statewide tally to 361,125 cases.

The number of coronavirus patients in Texas hospitals was reported on Thursday 8,858 — but only 84.5% of hospitals reported complete to the state, due to a transition in reporting to comply with new federal requirements, according to the Department of State Health Services.