HOLLISTER, Calif. (KION) Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital says San Benito County is seeing a surge in COVID-19 patients, and as a result, it is increasing bed capacity and staffing.
Hospital officials said there has been an increase in the number of patients with COVID-19 over the past week, and it reached a high of 21 today. Seven people with COVID-19 are being treated in the ICU, and all of them on ventilators.
In other departments, officials say 12 of the 22 patients in the Medical/Surgical unit are COVID-19 positive, and five mothers and five babies have tested positive in the OB/Maternity ward.
The hospital says COVID-19 patients now account for 62% of all of their hospital inpatient admissions.
As the number of cases rises, the hospital said it is in the final phases of activating its COVID Emergency Response Plan.
The hospital has added 3 more ICU beds, an increase of 96%, and 21 beds on the Medical/Surgical unit. An Ambulatory Surgery Center is also in the process of transitioning into a 12-bed ICU unit. Two parts of the second floor of the Women's Center are also being converted to house an additional 16 patients if necessary. In total, the hospital said it will be able to house 77 patients, and six of the beds will be dedicated to OB/Maternity patients.
To help with the bed capacity, the hospital said it also needs more staff. It said it has been able to get 10 additional ER nurses, 11 ICU nurses, 10 Medical/Surgical nurses and five respiratory therapists through a staffing agency and mutual aid from the San Benito County Office of Emergency Services.
Hazel Hawkins officials said that in cooperation with San Benito County Public Health, they have more surge plans and will activate them as needed.
San Benito County is part of the San Joaquin Valley region, which currently has 0% ICU capacity, according to state data.