Local hospitals prepare for potential surge in COVID-19 cases in the Valley

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CENTRAL VALLEY, Calif. (KGPE) – As California prepares for a potential surge in COVID-19 cases, hospitals locally are taking measures.

Health officials say one of the biggest concerns in terms of equipment, both locally and nationally, is the amount of ventilators available. While the Central Valley has not been impacted as much as other regions in California, health officials say they’re getting ready in the case that it does.

“We will need more ventilators when the illness does reach a surge point and that’s why we’re investing so much energy into trying to stay in containment as long as possible,” Sara Bosse, the Madera County Public Health Director, said.

Bosse said as the state works to get more ventilators, they too are part of that plan.

And hospitals in the Valley are working together to determine what they could need.

“Talking about how many we have, how many do we think we’ll need and they’re coordinating that with the state who’s looking over the entire state as a whole and they’re determining based on population, the number of cases, where do we need to deploy the respirators that we have in stock,” said David Bacci, the regional vice president of the Hospital Council for Northern & Central California.

Bacci said the criteria for testing hasn’t changed.

“We’re still prioritizing health care workers, those who work in close settings with others such as in our correctional facilities and our nursing homes and those types of places,” Bacci said.

Six days ago, the only public lab in the valley had tested 479 people. As of Monday, they’d tested 703, a 46.8% increase since last Tuesday.

“At this point, everyone is preparing for what potentially could be a surge because we want to make sure we are as ready as we possibly can be to take care of the valley and the residents,” Bacci said.

He said one of the most important things residents can do right now is stay home and only leave for things that are absolutely essential.

“If you don’t have to be out, please please stay home right now as much as possible and make sure you’re looking over your older family members and those who are compromised,” Bacci said.

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