How rural Texas hospitals are fighting coronavirus : The Indicator from Planet Money Rural hospitals in Texas are scrambling for equipment and staff to combat the surge in coronavirus cases.
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Texas Hospitals Battle COVID-19

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Texas Hospitals Battle COVID-19

Texas Hospitals Battle COVID-19

Texas Hospitals Battle COVID-19

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John Henderson/John Henderson
Rural hospitals in Texas are scrambling for equipment and staff to combat the surge in coronavirus cases.
John Henderson/John Henderson

The number of people in Texas who tested positive for COVID-19 topped 220,000 this week. Nearly 3,000 people have died of the virus in the state since the pandemic began. The number of coronavirus cases in Texas is rising at one of the fastest rates in the country.

While most states are starting to reopen their economies, Texas has been tightening restrictions. The Governor this week issued a statewide order, saying people in counties with more than 20 cases — which means most of the state — must wear masks. Still, the virus rages, and Texas hospitals are now swamped with cases. Many are struggling to find space, healthcare workers and other resources.

The problem is particularly acute in rural areas, where hospitals tend to be smaller, and operate on slimmer margins with fewer resources. We spoke with John Henderson, president of the Texas Organization of Rural and Community Hospitals, which represents 157 rural hospitals in the state of Texas, about the way he is using innovative approaches to acquire resources, and the kind of unexpected help he's gotten along the way.

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