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Bay Area hospitals prepare for COVID-19 surge

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — Health officials across the state and in the Bay Area have started to see an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

And as the reality of yet another surge hangs in the balance — hospitals are getting prepared. 

Doctors say in the last couple of weeks they have seen an uptick in COVID cases and it’s an indicator of what may come.

Thankfully though, doctors said at the beginning of the pandemic, they prepared heavily for a large surge that never really came to fruition.

But all that work has allowed them to feel more prepared going into this third wave. 

At John Muir, they have plans to upscale the number of ICU beds dramatically so they’ll be able to convert regular units into isolation units rapidly.

At UCSF, the hospital system is said to be stockpiling remdisivir as they anticipate a shortage of the treatment.

They’re also banking up on masks and PPE. 

Doctors say because of how prepared they are — they don’t want this threat of another surge to deter people with other health issues from coming into the hospital and seeking help.

“Initially when everything started — we emptied out the hospitals, and we were prepared to take care of COVID and only COVID, but it was quickly realized hospitals were able to manage COVID patients and their day to day operations and any other things that come to our doors,” Dr. Russell Rodriguez said. “So I think each hospital is taking it upon themselves to make sure they’re prepared with the appropriate resources for the next surge if and when they see it.”

Kaiser Permanente says they’ve also maintained a continuous state of readiness with supplies for additional COVID cases.

In a statement, they said the system is in alignment with required hospital surge capacity, which requires county or regional hospital capacity to accomodate a minimum surge of 35% due to COVID-19 cases in addition to providing usual care for non-COVID patients. 

At John Muir over the next couple of weeks, a mobile waiting room will be put in place outside the emergency room to allow for even more social distancing space in the coming weeks. 

Their Concord location will also be receiving a mobile treatment area that will be able to decrease wait times especially for less acute patients.

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