California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s warning on Thursday echoed that the ICU beds were overflowing in South Bay.
Santa Clara County public health officials say the recent spikes in COVID-19 cases are bringing them close to starting the new stay-at-home order. The new order will be triggered if the ICU bed capacity in the district falls below 15%.
The province already has some hospitals with over 90% of ICU capacity. Each hospital presented a surprise increase plan for how to create more space.
“So this will include getting beds into service that are not normally in service. This might include turning some non-clinical areas into clinical areas,” said Ahmed Kamal, director of health care preparedness at the Emergency Operations Center.
In San Jose, the Amberwood Gardens nursing care facility had 151 positive cases – 81 residents and 70 employees. In the Boucardo reception center, a homeless shelter, there have been 60 cases in just over a week.
“When the amount of COVID in our community rises, you will draw more people into the ICU and get more outbreaks in clusters,” said Dr. George Hahn, deputy district public health official. He said.
Officials say setting up external facilities to increase the number of troops as they did at the start of the pandemic will be more difficult due to staff shortages.
“The nursing staff is very weak and deployed across the country, so we are very concerned about the long-term employment crisis,” Kamal said.
For now, hospitals continue to create intensive care unit space, including by postponing non-emergency surgeries.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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