As COVID-19 cases surge in the Valley, local health care systems are in need of more resources

February 07 2021 03:30 pm

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — With coronavirus cases surging in the Valley, local health care systems are in need of more resources.

Fresno County hospital officials say they anticipate hospitalizations to quadruple in the next month and could potentially run out of masks and staff.

“It appears to me right now we are fighting a losing battle on many fronts,” Fresno Board of Supervisors, Steve Brandau said.

Fresno hospitals have enough masks for now, but officials say if more don’t come soon executives fear a severe shortage in August.

“They are concerned about PPE. They are concerned about their own staff that has tested positive and the strain that puts on the staff that has to serve the people,” Brandau said.

Before the pandemic, N95 masks cost 80 cents apiece, now it is up to around $8.

Executives told county officials they lose $20,000 for each COVID-19 patient they treat, which equals 14 billion in California since the pandemic hit.

Officials say they are reaching out to the state and federal government to see if they can get more masks here locally. They are also posting traveling nurses’ positions nationwide to try and attract more in the Central Valley.

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