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All licensed ICU beds are full after holiday surge
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All of the licensed ICU beds in San Joaquin County are currently occupied.
As of Monday, at 4 p.m., the licensed ICU capacity at San Joaquin County hospitals, which has room for 99 patients, was at 102 percent — meaning that hospitals have begun to tap into the surge capacity that has been in the works for months since COVID-19 started landing in area emergency rooms.
The numbers released on Tuesday show that in less than a week the number of ICU patients across the county has increased by 7 percent, and the number could continue to rise as more and more cases of COVID-19 are diagnosed after the holiday weekend.
More than 1,000 cases of COVID-19 were added to the county’s total over the weekend, bringing the number of people infected by the virus up to 5,600 according to the numbers that the San Joaquin County Department of Health Services released on Tuesday — a 25 percent increase over just the weekend since heading into the holiday weekend there were only 4,474 people that had tested positive.
And the number of people that have been hospitalized with the virus has skyrocketed in just a number of days as well.
As of Friday evening, there were 128 people in hospitals in San Joaquin County who were tested positive with COVID-19, and that number increased to 191 by Tuesday afternoon — a 49 percent increase in the number of hospitalized patients.
The number of people hospitalized in San Joaquin County for any illness went down by 1 percent, as of Monday afternoon, leaving a capacity of 31 percent of roughly 950 hospital beds open. The concentration of COVID-19 positive patients in hospitals in San Joaquin County has increased as well.
County officials announced on Tuesday that a number of outbreaks were traced back to parties over the Fourth of July weekend, while the virus can take up to two weeks to present with symptoms, they can also appear in as little as a day — and the number of confirmed outbreaks originating from a single point have increased by 17 percent since before the Fourth of July.
The amount of community transmission taking place is also increasing — up from just over 60 percent on Friday to nearly 62 percent on Tuesday afternoon.
While licensed ICU beds are currently all full capacity, hospitals throughout the county have varying numbers of potential surge ICU beds that can be converted to temporary ICU rooms with the medical equipment and staffing ratios necessary to garner that designation.
Doctors Hospital of Manteca has a total of eight licensed ICU beds and 73 licensed hospital beds, while Kaiser’s Manteca center has six licensed ICU beds and 61 licensed hospital beds. The two hospitals combined don’t have the space of larger hospitals elsewhere in the county like San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp which has 16 licensed ICU beds and 196 licensed hospital beds and St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Stockton which has 39 licensed ICU beds and 365 licensed hospital beds.
As a result of the surging numbers across the state, the California Department of Health Care Services has launched a 24/7 advice line for people who may have trouble accessing medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The free service is aimed at providing health advice to those are underinsured or uninsured and believe that they may either have been exposed to the virus or actually have the virus. To access the free service, call 877.409.9052.