OakBend Medical Center announced that over the past seven days the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in its region, which includes Wharton County, have exceeded 15 percent of the total hospital capacity, therefore making it an area of high hospitalizations as outlined in Gov. Greg Abbott’s Oct. 8, 2020 Executive Order (GA-31), triggering the restrictions in the order.  

As a result of the recent spike in cases and in accordance with Gov. Abbott’s most recent proclamation, all elective procedures that would require hospital admission will be postponed. This mandate will be hospital wide and went into effect Jan 7.

This Executive Order GA-31 was put in place to ensure hospital systems are not overwhelmed and continue to have the necessary supplies and personnel to treat patients during this ongoing pandemic. 

COVID-19 vaccination update

Residents of Wharton and Fort Bend counties may have heard about the COVID-19 vaccine rollouts happening across the U.S. and state. According to a press release, OakBend Medical Center said it is being overwhelmed with calls about its ability to distribute the vaccine to its community. 

OakBend has yet to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for distribution to its patients and the general public. OakBend continues to vaccinate according to guidelines set forth by the Texas Department of State Health Services, which has determined that specific groups of people are to receive the vaccine first, including healthcare personnel, residents of long-term care facilities, and other vulnerable frontline workers.

At this time, OakBend is not scheduling COVID-19 vaccines for the public until it has received and distributed all of the vaccines intended for the above mentioned groups. Once an additional supply is received and the hospital is allowed to begin public vaccine distribution, it will “work as quickly and efficiently as possible to make it available to our community and surrounding counties.”

This situation is changing quickly. Residents are asked to refer to OakBend’s website www.oakbendmedcenter.org/covid-19-vaccinations  for information and updates regarding the vaccine. 

“We deeply appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to keep our community healthy. Please use this website as a source of information instead of calling the hospital with requests or questions regarding the vaccine,” said Joe Freudenberger, CEO of OakBend Medical Center.

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