Coronavirus: Riverside County wants hospital beds, ventilators


All hospital beds in Riverside County might be occupied by mid-April if native coronavirus circumstances proceed to rise at their present charge, in response to a modeling projection calculated by Geoffrey Leung, Riverside College Well being System’s chief of medical workers.

On Tuesday afternoon, the county reported 371 confirmed circumstances — 80 greater than the day before today — and 13 fatalities, data present.

Throughout a news conference final Thursday, Leung mentioned circumstances of COVID-19 in Riverside County had been doubling each four.7 days. This implies the present 371 circumstances might soar to just about 1,500 by the week of April 12, in response to surge projections.

The variety of present circumstances, nonetheless, have already got surpassed the county’s preliminary forecasts.

Although well being officers predicted about 214 circumstances by Monday, the variety of cases reached 291, properly over the unique projection, Brooke Federico, the county’s public info officer, mentioned Tuesday.

Well being officers mentioned their projections had been primarily based on the county’s newest statistics and had been anticipated to vary over time.

If circumstances proceed at this charge, or quicker, all fundamental hospital beds might be crammed by April 22 and intensive care beds might be crammed by April 12, officers showed on their Fb web page. On Tuesday, the county reported there have been 1,399 obtainable hospital beds and 102 ICU beds. Leung anticipates the county will want an extra three,000 beds by early Might to deal with the anticipated elevated variety of COVID-19 sufferers.

Along with hospital mattress shortages, well being officers forecast that the county might run out of ventilators by April 26. The county at the moment has 172.

By early Might, officers mentioned there might be 9,000 virus-related hospitalizations, 50,000 confirmed circumstances and 1,000 deaths.

“This underscores the significance of all of our hospitals having a surge plan and plans for increasing their hospital beds and intensive care unit beds,” Leung mentioned throughout the information convention final Thursday.

To fulfill these calls for, officers are hoping that federal medical stations will assist alleviate stress at native hospitals. A 125-bed station on the Riverside County Fairgrounds in Indio is anticipated to be operational inside a couple of days, Federico mentioned. There are about 35 staffers — together with 25 members of the California Medical Help Workforce and 10 from the state’s Nationwide Guard medical strike staff — on the website.

A second short-term hospital, which can even supply an extra 125 hospital beds, continues to be within the works. Federico mentioned the county was nonetheless deciding on a location.

The extra 250 beds weren’t included in Leung’s projections, she mentioned Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the county introduced a new public health recommendation for residents to cowl their nostril and mouth when leaving residence for important errands or appointments. The face coverings don’t must be hospital grade, as these must be saved for medical staff, Leung mentioned. As an alternative a bandanna, material masks or neck gaiter will suffice. These things could be washed and reused.

“We’re seeing our numbers rising even earlier than we predicted, and meaning our technique should change too,” Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the county’s public well being officer, mentioned Tuesday. “Protecting your face doesn’t change the orders everybody should abide by to remain residence as a lot as potential and keep social distancing, nevertheless it’s an additional layer of safety that I believe we have to add.”

Riverside County seems to be the primary in Southern California to implement this advice, though the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention’s recommendation is unequivocal: Wholesome individuals who don’t work within the healthcare sector and should not taking good care of an contaminated individual at residence don’t have to put on masks. Riverside County officers mentioned a Cochrane Evaluation examine cemented their resolution to maneuver ahead with this advice.

“Based mostly on our analysis, cities which were capable of flatten the curve [implemented] face coverings [to be worn by] most people,” Federico mentioned. “Quite a lot of research present that droplet transmissions considerably cut back” when most people dons masks.

Face coverings additionally deter folks from touching their faces, spurs them to clean their fingers extra regularly, and encourages them to proceed practising social distancing whereas influencing others round them to do the identical, she mentioned.

Kim Saruwatari, the county’s director of public well being, instructed residents that, though projections of accelerating numbers of COVID-19 circumstances and fatalities appeared alarming, the county might assist decide its personal destiny.

“The numbers that Dr. Leung shares are horrifying, little doubt, however that is just one risk,” she mentioned throughout final Thursday’s information convention. “That doesn’t must be our future. By taking suggestions significantly, we are able to change these numbers. We’ve the power to regulate our personal future as a county, nevertheless it’s going to take all of us working collectively.”

Along with the advice to put on masks, county officers are requesting that the general public ship donations of provides together with masks (surgical, N95 or handmade), cardiac displays and private protecting tools to hospitals. The county can be looking for extra medical volunteers together with physicians, nurses, pharmacists, assistants and technicians to help with sufferers. Solely licensed practitioners or college students pursuing levels in any of these areas can volunteer.

For extra info on easy methods to volunteer or donate provides, go to the county’s website.