FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 31, 2020
Hospital ICU Capacity at Critical 8% Level Going into New Year’s Holiday
Santa Clara County, CA Healthcare providers in Santa Clara County have received more than 94,805 COVID-19 vaccines, and the County continues its efforts to quickly vaccinate people in the highest risk categories, as set by the state and federal government. Medical first responders began receiving vaccinations last week, and these vaccinations continue through the coordinated efforts of Santa Clara County Public Health Department, the Santa Clara County Fire Department (SCCFD), and the Santa Clara County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency.
As of today, healthcare providers in the county have received 40,605 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and 54,200 doses of the Moderna vaccine, plus additional deliveries directly to multi-county entities, such as Kaiser Permanente and Sutter Health. Additional shipments are expected next week, including second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Thousands of healthcare workers and medical first responders have been vaccinated since mid-December.
“Frontline medical responders provide crucial emergency assistance to those in need, and in turn face potential exposure to COVID-19 every day,” said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Officer for the County of Santa Clara. “This is a critical population that is both at-risk and essential to the health of the community.”
Even amid this hopeful news of expanding vaccine rollouts, the county’s hospital system remains in a precarious state with both ICU and non-ICU capacity at extremely low levels. New COVID-19 patients continue to arrive at a high rate and only 8% of ICU beds are available in the county as of today. Hospital staff are stretched thin, working overtime, and weary as they provide complex care to critically ill patients. This surge of COVID-19 patients hampers the medical system’s ability to best accommodate other incoming patients, whether for stroke, heart attack, traffic accident, or other emergency need. Deaths also continue to rise, with 709 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths to date.
“We are still extremely worried about a surge of cases from the December holidays on top of our existing surge,” said Dr. Ahmad Kamal, Director of Healthcare System Preparedness for the County of Santa Clara. “We implore the community not to compound their risk with additional exposure to ring in the New Year.”
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