The California government’s Gavin Newsom warned Thursday that intensive care unit beds are being filled, echoing heavily in the South Bay.
Santa Clara County public health officials say the latest spikes in COVID-19 cases are on the verge of New shelter Triggered. The new order will be triggered if a region’s intensive care unit bed capacity drops below 15%.
The county already has some hospitals with 90% ICU capacity. Each hospital has submitted a rise plan on how to create more space.
“So this usually involves bringing service to beds that are not in service. This includes converting some non-physician areas into medical areas,” said Ahmed Kamal, director of health care production at the Emergency Operations Center.
In San Jose, the Amberwood Gardens Nursing Care facility has 151 positive cases – 81 residents and 70 staff. At the homeless shelter Pocardo Reception Center, there are 60 cases a week.
“As the level of COVID rises in our community, you are going to land more people in the ICU, and you are going to get more explosions in council systems,” said Dr. George Hahn, deputy public health officer for the district.
Officials say setting up outdoor facilities, as they did at the start of the outbreak, will be made more difficult by a shortage of staff.
“Nursing staff are thinly stretched and recruited across the country, so we are very concerned about the long-term staff crisis,” Kamal said.
For now, hospitals are creating ICU space by postponing emergency surgeries.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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