National Guard helping out at Mercy hospitals in Bakersfield

Posted at 9:08 AM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-15 13:49:49-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The latest COVID surge is leading to Kern County hospitals needing staffing help to treat an increase in patients.

Bruce Peters from Mercy Hospital said that Mercy hospitals have been receiving help from the National Guard from their strike team of 27 people. The help is comprised of paramedics and emergency medical technicians to help with the COVID surge.

Currently Mercy Southwest is overcapacity with 97 patients of which 13 are in the ICU and 10 of whom are on ventilators.
"Seek other options for nonsymptomatic testing," said Peters.

Ken Keller from Memorial Hospital says they will be getting five traveling nurses to help out with the increase of patients there.

"The number of patients seems to start in southwest [Bakersfield] then moves east."

Memorial currently has 85 patients with COVID with 14 in the ICU and eight of whom are on ventilators.

"It will cost more for patients to get tested in the ER," said Keller.

Dr. Hemmel Kothary from Dignity Health talked about the need for booster shots of vaccines.

"You'll see a lot of controversy about studies... We're still in the learning stages of this disease. Just stay tuned... I think all of us will need boosters at sometime."

Kern Public Health reported there are 675 new cases of COVID and five new deaths on Wednesday. 1,510 deaths and 132,282 cases of COVID have been reported in Kern County since the pandemic began.