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Santa Clara County ramps up supply of beds

Bay Area

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — The shortage of hospital beds and ventilators has plagued hospitals in a lot of places around the country.

But so far, it has not really materialized the Bay Area.

Despite having the most coronavirus cases in the Bay Area by far, there are still plenty of hospital beds and ventilators available in Santa Clara County.

“We want you to know that surge beds are the additional beds that are not normally used in the hospital system,” David Campos, Deputy Santa Clara County Executive, said.

Campos on Thursday said the county currently has about 200 COVID-19 patients hospitalized county-wide.

As the number of people testing positive continues to rise, hospitals have been planning for a possible surge in demand for so-called “surge beds.” They do not know if or when that surge might occur but for now, there is no shortage of beds or ventilators says campos.

“As of March 31, there were 936 available acute hospital beds in the county,” Campos said. “There were 92 ICU beds, 1,456 surge beds and 392 ventilators that were available in the county.”

The Santa Clara Convention Center has been converted into a temporary surge center with 250 beds available.

In addition to adding beds, the county is working to secure enough personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves and adding staff, says Surge Capacity Chief Dr. Jennifer Tong.

“Each hospital is working on plans, how they can creatively restructure care teams to incorporate volunteers from the community,” Tong said. “They’re also working on ways to expedite hiring practices to bring in new staff to their care teams.”

The county says as of April 1, 8,246 residents have been tested for COVID-19 with 956 testing positive, not quite 12-percent.

Testing and hospital capacity information is now being posted and updated regularly online via a new public dashboard.

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