Local ICU Capacity Declines as COVID-19 Cases Increase
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.