Orange County’s medical care system is not now at a crisis point, officials say, but they’re closely watching the changing COVID-19 landscape and hoping it doesn’t reach one.
After a winter surge of coronavirus infections that required adding fields tents to hold extra beds at several OC hospitals, vaccines became widely available and daily new cases declined, with the average staying in the double digits from mid-April to early July.
But then hospitalizations began to rise, doubling over the past two weeks, going from 215 patients on July 27 to 453 patients as of Monday, Dr. Matt Zahn, medical director of OC Health Care Agency’s Communicable Disease Control Division, said in an online press conference.
At Hoag Hospital tents have been set up to help triage incoming patients and nurses have been moved from other areas to COVID-19 units, Philip Robinson, Hoag’s director of infection prevention and hospital epidemiology, wrote in an email. He added that the Newport Beach and Irvine campuses both currently have bed space in their ERs and intensive care units.