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Dallas county judge says there are zero ICU beds for kids; ‘Your child will wait for another child to die’

To prevent the spread of Covid-19, a sign directs travelers to wear masks at Love Field Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Dallas.LM Otero/Associated Press

A Texas judge sounded the alarm Friday about the impact of the state’s raging COVID-19 crisis on young people.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Dallas has zero intensive care unit beds left for children.

“That means if your child is in a car wreck, if your child has a congenital heart defect or something and needs an ICU bed or more likely if they COVID and need an ICU bed, we don’t have one,” Jenkins said during a news conference.

“Your child will wait for another child to die. Your child will just not get on a ventilator.”

Jenkins said on Twitter that there are 17 adult ICU beds in Dallas County, based on information reported to the North Central Texas Trauma Regional Advisory Council. This figure has shrunk from 23 adult ICU beds on Thursday.


Public health experts and doctors have been documenting the recent uptick in coronavirus cases and hospitalization among children in states with low vaccination rates, such as Texas, Florida, and South Carolina. Some have questioned if the highly contagious Delta variant is the cause.

A Houston pediatrician Heather Haq tweeted on July 30, “After many months of zero or few pediatric COVID cases, we are seeing infants, children, and teens with COVID pouring back into the hospital, more and more each day. These patients ranged in age from 2 weeks old to 17 years.”

Last week, an 11-month-old girl with COVID-19 was airlifted about 150 miles to Baylor Scott & White McLane Children’s Medical Center due to a lack of ICU beds in Houston, according to CNN.

Globe wire services was used in this report.

Lauren Booker can be reached at