COVID cases surge as stay-at-home order looms

Hospital (FILE)
Hospital (FILE)
Hospital (FILE)
Hospital (FILE)
Hospital (FILE)
Hospital (FILE)
Posted at 5:29 PM, Dec 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-04 20:29:35-05

Kern County isn't feeling the effects of the state's new stay-at-home order yet. Any region in the state that falls below 15-percent ICU capacity will be subject to that order as soon as Saturday. As of now, Kern County's hospital capacity is holding up but there's concern that could discourage people from actually getting the care they need, and in the long run, could cause them more problems.

Although hospitals aren't seeing a spike from Thanksgiving yet some clinics around town already are. It's a concerning reminder from David Bacci with the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California, which represents nearly 200 hospitals in the state.

"The surge that we are already experiencing is not even from Thanksgiving. Those numbers are going to continue to rise for about a week or two from now," said Bacci.

Tim Calahan, director of public relations for Clinica Sierra Vista said some of those who start at the clinic, must continue their treatment elsewhere.

"The Halloween holiday, that really kind of gave us an uptick, as well as the Thanksgiving holiday. That was a larger one," said Calahan. "Now what we're seeing is people ending up in the hospital because of the course of this virus."

So with a new stay-at-home order seemingly looming over resident's heads, where does Kern County stand with its hospital capacity right now? Kern County Public Health told 23ABC in a statement Friday that: "Our hospital capacity fluctuates every day. However, overall, is continuing to decrease. COVID isn't the only contributing factor to patients occupying hospital beds."

Kern County Public Health said that as of Friday, hospitals have reported 25-percent available ICU capacity and the latest data shows that 44 ICU beds total are available in the county.

Kern's metrics are mixed with other nearby counties in the San Joaquin Valley Region to determine whether it dips below the 15-percent threshold into the stay-at-home order. Officials said that some might think twice about going to the hospital with the new order because of capacity concerns.

Adventist Health Bakersfield, Delano, and Tehachapi told 23ABC, in part, that their hospitals: "Are safe places to receive care. Community members are urged to continue to seek care when they need it, especially those who are feeling chest pain, experiencing stroke symptoms, or having other serious concerns."

"Anyone who might consider delaying care for any reason, you're actually putting yourself at great risk for complications," added Bacci.

Kern Public Health said all the acute care hospitals have plans in place to accommodate a surge of patients and the county has an alternative care site in place, and ready to stand up should our hospitals reach capacity.