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USS Hospital Ship, reopening Memorial Hospital: Nueces, Kleberg County working to bring help to South Texas

Leaders believe that Corpus Christi would be a great spot to place military assets to help the entire South Texas region.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — In July, Kleberg County reported 106 confirmed coronavirus cases. County Judge Rudy Madrid said that numbers exceeds all of the county's numbers combined from March through June. 

The county's rise in cases has Madrid working with Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales to get more help to the South Texas area to deal with all the people who are ending up in the hospital and ICU units. 

Madrid said he supports Congressman Michael Cloud’s efforts to bring that huge hospital ship, the USS Comfort, to our Gulf waters.

”I think if we can not get the USS Comfort brought down to South Texas that at a minimum we could bring a fleet Naval Hospital down here," Madrid said. "I have a lot of experience with them in my personal time in the military. Fleet hospitals are very effective. They can support a lot of patients.”

Canales tells 3News that she likes Madrid’s ideas. She’s helping push the plans by pointing out that Corpus Christi would be a great spot to place military assets to help the entire South Texas region.

"Even though the USS Comfort might be a very hard ask to bring her from Virginia here, I do think it’s important for us to ask," Canales said. "It highlights the priority that I think should be placed on our region."

Canales said it appears our hospitals will eventually run out of space to handle patients. She is also promoting the idea of opening the physician's west facility by the old Memorial Hospital as a COVID-19 clinic. She is pushing for the ICU unit at Memorial Hospital to be renovated and opened for those needing intensive hospital care.

"We are going to need all hands on deck the problem is so immense we have so many hospitals and counties that are being severely impacted by the pandemic that we have to look for help everywhere we can," Congressman Filemon Vela said. 

Vela feels like it’s a fantastic idea to open up the ICU unit at Memorial. Officials said military doctors and nurses could be brought to staff it as our surge continues to stress our resources. 

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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