San Joaquin County COVID-19 hospitalizations reach new record – KCRA Sacramento

COVID-19 hospitalizations in San Joaquin County have reached a new record, as the entire 12-county San Joaquin Region reports 4.5% ICU capacity. San Joaquin County health officials are reporting there are 267 COVID-19 patients across its seven hospitals– topping the previous peak demand of 262 patients in July. The county’s seven hospitals are also reporting ICUs are at 118% capacity and 56% of all ICU patients are receiving treatment for COVID-19. KCRA 3 spoke with San Joaquin County Public Health Officer Dr. Maggie Park. Below is an excerpt of the interview. KCRA 3: When it comes to ICU capacity now in the San Joaquin Region, it’s in the single digits. How does that compare to the last ten months of this pandemic?Dr. Park: It is a serious situation. Our San Joaquin Valley region had only 1.9% ICU beds remaining yesterday. We are back up to 4.5% through today as a region. That’s still quite a low number. KCRA 3: Across your seven hospitals in San Joaquin County the ICU capacity is at 118%. What does that actually mean?Dr. Park: What we are looking at are the numbers being submitted by each one of our seven hospitals — as far as how many staffed ICU beds are available and how many are in use.KCRA3: What if someone gets into a car accident, has a heart attack or is a severe COVID-19 patient and they need an ICU bed—where do they go?Dr. Park: Well, we don’t want anyone to hesitate to go to their local, nearest emergency department. Our hospitals are ready for you and we don’t want anyone waiting with symptoms or who might have a medical emergency.Our ICUs know how to shift patients around. We have regional — a lot of agreements, a lot of partnerships, and we can make the room. We also have at the state level access to Sleep Train Arena as an alternate care site. So, we can offset some of our patient load in ways that make sense.And this is why the state is looking at regions because we rely on our region to support us. And sometimes we go to our Greater Sacramento area. But if you’ll note, both regions are now at a stay-at-home order because of the low ICU counts and that’s why it’s serious. Because we rely on each other for that. But when it gets to be too low, sometimes the help is not available.KCRA3: What are largely these cases being attributed to?Dr. Park: So, a lot of these cases represent community spread. And community transmission classically means people just don’t know. It’s just out there. So, COVID is really having high transmission rates right now. And a majority of people, when we contact trace, don’t exactly know where they picked it up. So, that’s actually number one.KCRA3: What are you most concerned about?Dr. Park: It’s so hard to say we’re back in a stay-at-home order. But what concerns me right now are that people are not taking it as seriously this time around the way we did back in March.And so, I am worried that after the end of the year we’re looking at a January that might be even worse than our December.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in San Joaquin County have reached a new record, as the entire 12-county San Joaquin Region reports 4.5% ICU capacity.

San Joaquin County health officials are reporting there are 267 COVID-19 patients across its seven hospitals– topping the previous peak demand of 262 patients in July.

The county’s seven hospitals are also reporting ICUs are at 118% capacity and 56% of all ICU patients are receiving treatment for COVID-19.

KCRA 3 spoke with San Joaquin County Public Health Officer Dr. Maggie Park. Below is an excerpt of the interview.

KCRA 3: When it comes to ICU capacity now in the San Joaquin Region, it’s in the single digits. How does that compare to the last ten months of this pandemic?

Dr. Park: It is a serious situation. Our San Joaquin Valley region had only 1.9% ICU beds remaining yesterday. We are back up to 4.5% through today as a region. That’s still quite a low number.

KCRA 3: Across your seven hospitals in San Joaquin County the ICU capacity is at 118%. What does that actually mean?

Dr. Park: What we are looking at are the numbers being submitted by each one of our seven hospitals — as far as how many staffed ICU beds are available and how many are in use.

KCRA3: What if someone gets into a car accident, has a heart attack or is a severe COVID-19 patient and they need an ICU bed—where do they go?

Dr. Park: Well, we don’t want anyone to hesitate to go to their local, nearest emergency department. Our hospitals are ready for you and we don’t want anyone waiting with symptoms or who might have a medical emergency.

Our ICUs know how to shift patients around. We have regional — a lot of agreements, a lot of partnerships, and we can make the room. We also have at the state level access to Sleep Train Arena as an alternate care site. So, we can offset some of our patient load in ways that make sense.

And this is why the state is looking at regions because we rely on our region to support us. And sometimes we go to our Greater Sacramento area. But if you’ll note, both regions are now at a stay-at-home order because of the low ICU counts and that’s why it’s serious. Because we rely on each other for that. But when it gets to be too low, sometimes the help is not available.

KCRA3: What are largely these cases being attributed to?

Dr. Park: So, a lot of these cases represent community spread. And community transmission classically means people just don’t know. It’s just out there. So, COVID is really having high transmission rates right now. And a majority of people, when we contact trace, don’t exactly know where they picked it up. So, that’s actually number one.

KCRA3: What are you most concerned about?

Dr. Park: It’s so hard to say we’re back in a stay-at-home order. But what concerns me right now are that people are not taking it as seriously this time around the way we did back in March.

And so, I am worried that after the end of the year we’re looking at a January that might be even worse than our December.