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Bay Area hospitals make changes to help with ongoing COVID-19 surge

Bay Area

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KRON) – As the number of coronavirus cases climbs statewide, hospitals here in the Bay Area are struggling to keep from getting overwhelmed with patients.

Many hospitals saw a dramatic increase in COVID patients after Thanksgiving. John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek has seen the number of COVID patients triple in recent weeks.

They and other hospitals around the Bay Area very concerned about the weeks ahead.

As of Monday, ICU bed availability at hospitals around the Bay Area is at 9.5 percent. In response, health providers are making changes to hopefully help with the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases.

Kaiser Permanente has decided to delay elective and non-urgent surgeries through January 4th.

Sutter Health, which operates 24 hospitals in Northern California, is also delaying some elective procedures.

John Muir Health in Contra Costa County says their ICU bed availability is between 10 and 15 percent. They are also anticipating more COVID cases and making adjustments.

John Muir Health says that so far about 70 percent of their staff has received a coronavirus vaccine but that after months of dealing with the pandemic everyone is tired.  

The hospital is pleading with the public to avoid New Year’s gathering to hopefully keep the hospital from getting overwhelmed with patients.

“Please do not gather in large numbers. Please do not have inside gatherings. It is just vital to being able to allow our teams to manage the COVID that we know is in our community without spreading it further,” Michelle Lopes said.

Now, the hospital is dealing with a surge of coronavirus cases but they do want the public to know that they can safely deal with no COVID emergencies.  

For instance, is someone is having a stroke or heart attack you can still go the emergency room for help.

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