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Monterey County Hospitals are experiencing “double threat” with an increase in COVID-19 patients and staffing shortages

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION-TV) In addition to the increasing number of COVID-19 patients going to the hospital, Monterey County Hospitals said they're also experiencing staffing shortages.

On Friday, Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System had 22 patients, Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula had 21 patients, Natividad had 16 patients, and Mee Memorial Healthcare System has no COVID-19 patients.

To deal with the overwhelming increase of patients, all four county hospitals are taking the following measures:

Patient Visitation 

While hospitals are still adapting their visitation policies, all Monterey County hospital emergency departments are currently not allowing visitors, with exceptions for a parent or guardian of a minor under the age of 18 or a caregiver or support person for patients with physical, intellectual, cognitive impairment and/or developmental disabilities.

If you want to visit a loved one who is in the hospital, the county recommends you visit their website for the current visitation policy, which you can find at the bottom of this page.

Healthcare Vaccine Booster

California mandated that all healthcare workers who are eligible for the booster, receive their dose by Feb. 1

"All of our Monterey County hospitals support this state mandate and are working with employees to ensure compliance by the deadline," the county said.

Surgery Schedules

The county is taking similar precautions they did during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when it comes to surgery schedules. While hospitals measure their capacity, non-time-sensitive procedures might be rescheduled.

Emergency Department Visits

Monterey County Hospitals are also asking the community to only go to the ER for medical emergencies like severe injury, difficulty breathing, chest pain, and going in and out of consciousness.

They're encouraging individuals to stay home if they're experiencing mild COVID symptoms and only visit the ER if the following symptoms appear:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weakness and a fever for several days

Reduce Risk of COVID-19 Infections and Hospitalizations

The county also recommends the community do the following to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.

  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine or a booster vaccine if you are eligible
  • When you are sick, get tested, stay home, and isolate from others. Do not seek testing at an emergency department
  • If you test positive, isolate, and let your close contacts who were potentially exposed know
  • Wear a mask when around others outside your household
  • Maintain social distance from others outside your household
  • If you must gather, please do so outside and follow social-distancing practices

Hospital Websites

Montage Health:



Mee Memorial:

Monterey County Health Department:

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Melody Waintal

Melody Waintal is the Digital Content Director for and


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