The photos, taken at the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston on Monday, show staff in protective gear treating patients at the facility.
The staff in face shields and other personal protective equipment (PPE) insert pipes into the veins of patients suffering from coronavirus and check their breathing apparatus.
In some of the startling images, patients can be seen lying in their hospital beds with their clothes and sheets pulled about them.
Texas had the highest number of COVID-19 cases of any US state as of Monday, adding 11,726 new infections to its more than one million total.
Official data showed that 47 people in Texas died from the disease on Monday, bringing the state’s total deaths to 20,157 – second only to New York.
Dramatic pictures have emerged from an intensive care unit (ICU) in Texas as the state battles a huge rise in coronavirus cases. Pictured: A man treats a COVID-19 patient at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston
A member of the medical staff at the Houston hospital checks on a coronavirus patient’s breathing apparatus on Monday as Texas recorded 47 new deaths from the disease
Texas had the highest number of COVID-19 cases of any US state as of Monday, adding 11,726 new infections to its more than one million total. Pictured: A blood sample is taken from a coronavirus patient
As cases rise, health care facilities are struggling to cope with a steep increase in hospitalizations.
Health experts have said the major contributing factor is non-compliance with restrictions by the public.
Dr David Callender, President & CEO of Memorial Hermann Health System, told local TV station KHOU that many patients have become infected after gatherings.
‘It seems that many of the new cases that we’re hearing about have been transmitted in social situations where people who know each other get together, they don’t wear masks, they don’t maintain social distancing,’ Callender said.
Infectious diseases expert Dr Peter Hotez has urged Texans to follow restrictions to avoid a worst-case scenario, with projections suggesting that the state could see 17,000 more deaths by the end of February.
Medical staff insert a pipe into the vein of a coronavirus patient. Hospitalizations are on the rise in Texas as the infection and death rates also climb
A patient suffering from coronavirus is lifted and repositioned for comfort at the hospital in Houston, just one of many across the country struggling with increasing caseloads from a new rise in infections
A staff member prepares to insert a pipe into the vein of a coronavirus patient in Houston on Monday, as Texas’ total number of deaths from coronavirus passed 20,000
Health experts say non-compliance with restrictions including mask wearing and social distancing is behind the rise in cases in Texas. Pictured: Preparations under way to perform an endoscopy on a patient who has contracted coronavirus
‘These are Americans that don’t have to die,’ Hotez said. ‘There’s no reason for them to lose their lives now just by being careless about social distancing or wearing masks. Just hang on for a few more months.’
Statewide restrictions include the wearing of face masks inside commercial buildings and outdoors when within six feet of others.
Outside gatherings should be limited to 10 people. Local officials may grant permission for larger meetings in special circumstances.
In areas where coronavirus patients are filling at least 15 percent of the total hospital capacity, bars must close, while restaurants should operate at 50% capacity.
Dr Joseph Varon, one of the medical team at the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston puts on his PPE before entering the COVID-19 intensive care unit
Medical staff enter the hospital’s COVID-19 ICU. Concerns of even more cases to come are mounting in Texas and elsewhere as the holiday season approaches
Medical stuff carry out a small surgical procedure to insert a pipe into the vein of a coronavirus patient at the hospital in Houston
Restrictions have been relaxed since hospitalizations dipped in the fall and officials have given no indication of new measures to combat the virus’ spread in response to rising numbers.
Governor Greg Abbott on Friday announced the distribution of antibody therapy to hospitals across the state, saying it would ‘help health care professionals effectively treat cases of COVID-19 within their communities and aid in reducing hospitalizations’.
Last week, a local lockdown was lifted in El Paso, where mobile morgues have been called in to relieve overwhelmed hospitals and funeral homes.
Chris Acosta, a spokesman for the El Paso Sheriff’s Department, revealed that inmates from the county’s detention facility were also drafted in to help for ‘a stipend of $2 an hour’ while officials awaited assistance from the National Guard, ABC reported.
Staff members check intravenous drips attached to patients in the COVID-19 intensive care unit. The drip provides vital nutrients
A patient who is recovering from coronavirus is examined by medical staff, some of whom wear pictures of themselves to comfort patients as their faces are hidden by PPE
A patient suffering from coronavirus has an endoscopy performed in the Houston ICU. The procedure will allow medical staff to look inside his body
Meanwhile, Houston’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, on Monday urged residents to skip traditional Thanksgiving celebrations this year to avoid spreading the virus as he announced the cancellation of an annual parade to mark the holiday.
‘Don’t invite COVID to your Thanksgiving dinner’ Turner said as he advised Houstonians to avoid travelling to other parts of the state or having family over from out of town, The Texan reported.
His comments came after city and county health departments issued guidance urging residents to limit their celebrations to small dinners with other household members only.
Small outdoor gatherings with other family carry a moderate risk, while large indoor gatherings with non-household members should be completely avoided.
On Monday Mayor Turner also reinforced mandatory mask wearing in the city, reminding residents that police will issue fines of $250 to those not wearing a mask.
‘We prefer to warn people only, but we are at the point where we need to be more forceful with our message.
‘The wearing of masks works.’
Don’t invite COVID to your Thanksgiving dinner: Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner has urged residents to limit their holiday celebrations as he cancelled an annual parade [File photo]
Coronavirus cases are surging across the US, straining health care systems to their limits as people gear up for the holiday season.
NPR reported that every day since Election Day, more than 100,000 people in the country have tested positive for the virus and that in many places there are not enough medical staff to cope with the caseloads.
ICU nurse Lydia Mobley told NPR’s All Things Considered program that she comes across several patients each shift at her Michigan hospital who tell her they wish they had followed guidance.
‘A lot of times before they’re intubated – which means put on a ventilator because they can’t breathe on their own – when they’re still struggling to breathe, and they’re saying, ‘Well, I didn’t know COVID was real, and I wish I’d worn a mask.’ And then it’s already too late,’ she said.
‘You can see the regret, as they’re struggling to breathe and it’s finally hitting them that this is real. It makes me very sad.’
A machine is used to warm up the body of a patient suffering from coronavirus at the dedicated ICU in Houston, Texas on Monday
Medical staff examine a patient suffering from coronavirus. Dr Varon wears a face shield bearing the phrase ‘COVID HUNTER’