COVID-19 Rates Keep Rising and Hospitals are Full


via Wikimedia Commons

Coronavirus rates keep rising and hospitals are almost full. There are approximately 15 million cases of COVID-19 and about 284,000 deaths in the U.S. In California, there are regions where ICU capacity is way less than 15%. This means that 15% of a hospital’s ICU beds are left to accept new patients. Not only does this affect COVID-19 patients, but this also affects anyone coming to the hospital for life-threatening illnesses such as strokes or heart attacks.

In order to help the limited order of beds left, our governor, Gavin Newsom, has issued a stay at home order for the next three weeks. After the three week period, the stay at home order can be lifted only if the projected ICU capacity meets or exceeds 15%. After the first three week period, the ICU capacity will be checked every week.

In Southern California the following counties are included in the stay-at-home order: Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbra, and Ventura. Only critical services such as schools, non-urgent medical and dental care, child care, and pre-k are allowed to stay open with safety precautions.

Not only did some hospitals have to change how they treat patients, but they had to also change where they treat their patients. For example, a Nevada hospital named Renown Regional Medical Center has turned their parking garage into a place where they treat patients. This place is referred to as a field hospital. As a result, 265 people have been treated here in the last three weeks.

Some people are starting to receive Coronavirus vaccines. The first people to receive it are hospital workers and the elderly in nursing homes. Between the newly released vaccine and the current stay at home order, people hope that cases will stabilize and go down, leaving hospitals with room for all patients. 

Once we go back to normal, the ICU will hopefully not be overfilled again with COVID-19 patients. This will allow more room for other patients requiring an ICU stay. Things we can do to help minimize the transmission of COVID-19 is what we’ve been told to do from the beginning. Everyone needs to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Although this may be very difficult for some people, it is necessary to make sacrifices now so that we may have a bright future.