As California collected its latest grim milestone Monday in its battle with COVID-19, hospitals in the Bay Area inched closer to entering surge capacity for the first time of the pandemic.
With 482 fatalities reported across the state Monday, according to data compiled by this news organization, the cumulative death toll from the coronavirus in California crossed 30,000, with an average of approximately 491 per day over the past week — the state’s deadliest seven days since the onset of the pandemic with more than twice as many fatalities as two weeks ago. More than 2.7 million Californians have contracted the virus, after another 54,302 tested positive on Monday. At about 42,000 cases per day over the past week, California is averaging approximately 10% more infections than it was two weeks ago but still fewer than in the week prior to Christmas.
Fewer Californians are coming in to hospitals with severe cases of COVID-19, but the situation in many intensive care units remains at its most dire of the pandemic. The active count of COVID-positive patients grew by 21 on Sunday to a total of 21,668 currently hospitalized, including 4,868 in ICUs, both at or near record-highs. However, hospitalizations have increased by about 10% in the past two weeks, well below the 45% growth rate in the previous two-week period.
In the Bay Area, just 0.7% of staffed and licensed intensive-care beds were still available Monday under the state’s calculation, the closest the region has come to operating in what Gov. Gavin Newsom has called “surge capacity,” meaning new patients may still be admitted to ICUs but the quality of care may diminish. In the hardest-hit regions of the state, Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley, hospitals have been operating beyond 100% of normal capacity for more than three weeks.
Within the region, however, capacity ranges from almost none in Santa Clara County to nearly a full third of intensive-care beds in San Francisco and Alameda County. Two non-surge ICU beds were open in all of Santa Clara County on Sunday, according to the county, but accounting for staffed surge beds increases capacity to 7%. In Napa and Santa Cruz counties, capacity had reached 0%; San Mateo and Contra Costa each reported about 10% capacity; and Solano and Sonoma counties both exceeded 15% of ICU beds available.
Deaths have accelerated rapidly across the region, nearly tripling in the past two weeks, outpacing every other region in the state. However, at about 55 per 1 million residents over the past week, the Bay Area still reported fewer fatalities per-capita than the rest of the state. The rate in Southern California was over 100, more than double the number of deaths two weeks ago, while it was about 75 in Greater Sacramento and the San Joaquin Valley. In Northern California, the per-capita fatality rate over the past week was about equal with the Bay Area.
On Monday, Santa Clara County recorded its third-highest death toll of the pandemic, with 36 new fatalities; however, the county does …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment