Central Valley hospitals full heading into Labor Day weekend, officials say

Local News

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) — Medical professionals say hospitals are overwhelmed, and that they are concerned that this COVID-19 surge has yet to reach peak hospitalizations.

“Our healthcare system is at its breaking point,” says Dan Lynch, Fresno County Emergency Medical Services director. “It’s not going to take much more.”

Officials at hospitals in Fresno County say they are continuing to see high volumes of patients with COVID-19 during this surge. They say staffing is becoming one of the biggest challenges.

“We again are seeing our own employees being out with COVID, or out with isolation because their children who have gone back to school,” says Deanette Sisson, Chief Nursing Officer at Saint Agnes Medical Center in Fresno. “All of those things are really pushing our staffing right up to the very limit.”

Lynch says 86% of those hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, and that those hospitalized are younger during this surge.

“Our COVID population is averaging 20 to 60 years of age,” says Sisson.

“We see a lot of more trauma over these long holidays,” Lynch says, saying that hospitals are already full heading into the Labor Day weekend. Now he says he’s asking for residents to “do their part.”

“I think the public really needs to be concerned about the crisis that is happening within our healthcare system. If they can respect that, then maybe they’ll consider vaccination, maybe they’ll consider wearing a mask, or maybe just kind of taking it easy over the holiday weekend,” Lynch says.

Lynch says hospitals have made additional staffing requests to the state, but that they’re only getting 10% to 15% of what they’re asking for.

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