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Kern County Board of Supervisors to consider ICU bed deal Tuesday

Kern County Board of Supervisors
Posted at 8:02 AM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 11:02:20-04

As hospitals continue to be inundated with patients due to COVID-19 the Kern County Board of Supervisors will consider an agreement to provide money for more ICU beds and more nurses.

Supervisors will consider an agreement with RightSourcing Inc that would provide more nurses and staff for an additional 40 ICU beds in local hospitals. The deal would cost $12 million and would run through the end of this year.

23ABC's Kallyn Hobmann spoke with Adventist Health Bakersfield's president and CEO Sharlet Brigts about these nurses’ duties going beyond just giving their patients physical care. With social distancing preventing normal visitors, nurses are providing patients with the emotional support they would usually receive from friends and family.

"Our nurses are having to be the mother, the father, the sister, the brother, the grandmother, the grandfather. They’re having to be it all for the emotional, the emotional piece," Brigts said. "Everybody has to step in and it really is pressure everywhere in the hospital. As we’re heading this pandemic, there’s really no relief. You always have times of relief where you have less patients and you can kind of take a little bit of breath and now we’re having [the] constant flow in and out."

Kern County addresses shortage of ICU nurses

County Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop is recommending supervisors approve the deal.

And supervisors will also consider increasing the small business forgivable loan program from $25 million up to $30 million. The program currently provides up to $75,000 in funding for local small businesses.

Supervisors are scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday to discuss both items.