Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

41 Comments
Reads 6399

By edhat staff

COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Santa Barbara County as intensive care unit (ICU) capacity decreases.

From Friday through Monday, the Public Health Health Department (PHD) reported 824 new cases and two deaths. Both individuals were over 70 years old and had underlying medical conditions. Areas of residence include the City of Santa Barbara and the City of Lompoc and communities of Mission Hills and Vandenberg Village. One of the deaths was associated with an outbreak at a congregate living facility.

There have now been 153 deaths.

The grand total of cases is now 16,476 with 1,104 of those cases currently infectious. There are 121 hospitalizations with 29 in the ICU.

Santa Barbara County's ICU availability has decreased from Wednesday's (December 23) report of 34.7% to Monday's (December 28) report of 6.7%. The Southern California Region has still calculated 0% ICU availability.

The decrease in the county's ICU availability doesn't necessarily reflect the number of available beds, but also the decrease in staffing availability.

In Monday's press conference, Governor Gavin Newsom stated his team is bracing for the inevitable surge following the discouraging holiday travel and gatherings that are taking place.

There has been a 38% increase in hospitalizations statewide in the past two weeks. Los Angeles, San Bernadino, and Riverside counties are the most impacted in California, he said.

Due to the majority of the state still calculating 0% ICU availability, the stay-at-home order is likely to be extended. An official announcement will take place on Tuesday after the California Department of Public Health collects Monday's data for another four-week projection on hospitalizations.

Los Angeles County has averaged 12,000-15,000 new cases per day in the last two weeks taking a big toll on nearby hospitals. Approximately 96% of LA county hospitals were on diversion at some point this past weekend, said Governor Newsom. Diversion means a hospital was unable to accept an acute care patient, regardless of the patient's COVID-19 status, and ambulances were diverted to another care facility.

California has a 14-day rolling average of 231 COVID-19 deaths per day.

More data can be found at publichealthsbc.com.

 

Login to add Comments

41 Comments

Show Comments
pstarSR Dec 29, 2020 12:28 PM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

this goes for that, and the flood of people at the beginning saying this was just the flu. I wish all those people had to answer to their idiotic statements 14 months ago, NOW. but nooooooo, we just let them continue undermining the health and safety of everyone.

MountainMan4865 Dec 28, 2020 05:43 PM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

Probably didn't help that there was another 20 ICU beds eliminated. It was 99 beds three weeks or so ago, then it went to 91 beds. Yesterday was the first time I noticed it had gone down to 71 ICU beds. While we're on the topic of numbers.... I added up all the active cases from the various areas in SB County (listed on the Geography tab of the County dash board) and came up with 1,009 active cases. Where are the other 95 from?

a-1609261143 Dec 29, 2020 08:59 AM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

The article clearly states the ICU beds are not always physical beds, but staffing. So during the holidays there is less staff meaning less beds. Because you can have a bed but without 24hr nursing and staffing, it doesn't matter.

420722 Dec 28, 2020 07:45 PM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

“The decrease in the county's ICU availability doesn't necessarily reflect the number of available beds, but also the decrease in staffing availability.” Um ok. I’m old enough to remember 15 days to slow the spread. Another month long extension announced tomorrow against businesses that have proved to have absolutely NOTHING to do with the spread of “covid” but hey let’s just keep them closed, force them to lose it all and call it science and then let’s give the whole world a vaccine but still demand everyone wear mask and social distance for all of eternity!

MountainMan4865 Dec 28, 2020 07:59 PM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

I spent some time trying to make sense of that sentence... “The decrease in the county's ICU availability doesn't necessarily reflect the number of available beds, but also the decrease in staffing availability.” Didn't get very far. I can't wrap my head around what they were trying to say, without acknowledging or explaining the depletion of 20 (28 total) ICU beds.

a-1609218496 Dec 28, 2020 09:08 PM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

7:45 PM:
I don't think you understand the severity of the pandemic.
Do you think 335,000 deaths in the USA alone are faked?
International death totals are faked?
Other countries are in on the conspiracy?
Too little thinking behind such a comment.

a-1609260776 Dec 29, 2020 08:52 AM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

This way of thinking is why we are still here. Locked down. No forethought whatsoever. Purely selfish, “only my needs matter” people can’t look ahead past their noses and realize that until we all work together, we’re going to be stuck with rising ICU numbers and sick people. It’s amazing to me too because it’s mostly out of “I want to sit in a restaurant have my burger” versus empathy for actual restaurant owners and employees. If we could squash this virus we could all go back to normal. But too many people care more about living THEIR lives, than living collectively as a society. Sucks.

a-1609261270 Dec 29, 2020 09:01 AM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

It's easy to understand. There are 100 ICU beds, but only 50 of those have nurses and doctors available to them. Therefore, only 50 beds are available at that time. If a nurse gets sick and no one can fill in, that can go down to 45 beds, etc.

a-1609220775 Dec 28, 2020 09:46 PM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

Maybe, just maybe, the decline in ICU staffing has something to do with that total of 843 healthcare workers infected. Don't you Keystone Doks ever stop to think for a moment?

MountainMan4865 Dec 28, 2020 10:46 PM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

I'm pretty sure if a shortage in staffing was occurring that it would be front page news. We are deep in sensationalized news... shortage in staffing would be front and center, not just inferred or hinted at. What happened to all the field hospitals that popped up at the beginning of the pandemic? The ones that were never used? All the nurses and medical students that traveled to New York and New Jersey that just ended up sitting in hotels with nothing to do? Where are they?

GeneralTree Dec 28, 2020 10:58 PM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

Mountainman I have zero respect for you or your amateurish, low information uninformed opinions. Maybe just stop replying to me. It's people like you that make me sad for the future of our country. People so hard-core in their political truth they ignore reality. At least you are amusing to yourself.
Meanwhile Martin Luther King Jr. Hospital in Los Angeles is shoving patients into the gift store and the chapel because they are overwhelmed.

a-1609261706 Dec 29, 2020 09:08 AM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

@MountainMan - Supervisor Gregg Hart and local Pub Health officials have stated several times there are shortages of nurses and staff. Hart stated in a recent supervisor meeting that they can't even get travelers from out of state and they are now looking to Australia. Healthcare workers are exhausted and working overtime going on 9 months now, and they are getting sick and dying. Yes, even locally. The media doesn't report on it because Public Health cannot release the full extent of these details due to privacy.

pstarSR Dec 29, 2020 12:24 PM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

mountain man sorry to jump in the fray, but yeah. its been front page reported on. hell nurses in sweeden are quiting.

just do some googling before putting your foot in your mouth next time.

Andrea Smith Dec 28, 2020 10:33 PM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

Wow some really uninformed comments here. ICU care is a specialty. Hospitals are only staffed for normal needs. 96% of LA's hospitals now are on diversion meaning, they are turning away acute care patients b/c they have no ICU capacity left. Many patients in our hospital here, as we are a regional acute care/trauma center, are from other areas which in part caused the ICU capacity to drop. You can't just redirect staff to work in ICU or with this virus if they are not properly trained in how to use the equipment. I believe at one point our system here said they needed about 3,000 more doctors and nurses and were trying to get folks to come from other areas but other areas are stretched too. Not sure what some here don't understand about that.

GeneralTree Dec 28, 2020 11:33 PM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

The Santa Maria Times has a little more information on the reduction of total ICU beds....
According to county public health spokeswoman Jackie Ruiz, reevaluation of ICU beds by Cottage Hospital in Santa Barbara determined that only 45 of the hospital's 65 registered ICU beds are actually staffed and prepared to receive patients.

"This change reflects what Cottage is able to realistically staff at this time," Ruiz said Sunday.

https://santamariatimes.com/news/local/santa-barbara-county-adult-icu-capacity-now-at-6-7/article_f6f1eda4-fdfd-5333-aab9-6f0b07d905d3.html

ChemicalSuperFreak Dec 29, 2020 12:06 AM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

GT: So Ruiz is admitting that an adjustment was made because someone miscounted and overestimated the available ICU bed that could be staffed and prepped, and this decrease wasn't because of staff recently testing positive and being taken out of circulation. I guess that makes a lot of people here very wrong. Thanks for clearing that up.

PitMix Dec 29, 2020 07:10 AM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

And they reserve some beds for other patients so it is hard to get a handle on what is actually happening. Although some numbers show total beds. Hospitals in LA are turning away critical patients. Remember how the Repubs in the 90s warned us about death panels and care rationing? They just didn't say that it would be them that would instigate it.

a-1609277055 Dec 29, 2020 01:24 PM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

12:06 AM - You're so used to jumping to the conclusion you want to see that you failed to comprehend the meaning of the Ruiz statement. How, from what was stated, can you conclude that the staffing problem was not caused by COVID infection of staff? Sorry if English isn't your primary language, but you should not be so smug if you're unsure of what is being said.

ChemicalSuperFreak Dec 29, 2020 12:02 AM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

It's funny how some people actually believe that 843 health care workers are CURRENTLY infected, and somehow impacted the ICU staffing and caused the decrease in total available ICU beds. These people don't realize that this is the total count of health care workers, across the wide variety of job titles, who have tested positive since the beginning of COVID. In the past 14 days only 154 health care workers have tested positive.

GeneralTree Dec 29, 2020 03:17 PM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

CSF Not sure how 20% of all SB healthcare workers in the past 14 days could give anyone a rosy outlook. But I do appreciate you posting those numbers as that is not something I look at in my daily scan of the cases/ICU etc. My original question about the reduction of the number of available beds was sincere - the first things that came to mind were that some had been infected, or some had travelled to other regions to assist. And it was confusing that the county made this adjustment as it is hard to tell whether this is from new data, or if they didn't have the workers all along.

a-1609289544 Dec 29, 2020 04:52 PM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

Up to 852 HCW infected today. At 9 a day, each out for only two weeks if they're lucky, we don't have a lot of time or staff left to sacrifice with our selfish behavior. We should all be doing what we can to avoid infection; masks, shutdowns, and physical distancing are the weapons that work against the virus.

a-1609263459 Dec 29, 2020 09:37 AM
Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase

Thanks for a good article Edhat. It is difficult to read the SB Public Health dashboard and really understand the numbers. You helped to clarify. The takeaway is that the virus is spreading and we should stay home, use masks if necessary to go out and stop the spread. And get the vaccine when available.

Please Login or Register to comment on this.