State officials said Friday that hospitals in the heart of California’s Central Valley are running out of beds in their intensive care units, as a more dangerous version of the coronavirus continues to spread predominantly among the unvaccinated.
For three days in a row, hospitals in the 12-county San Joaquin Valley region had less than 10% of staffed adult ICU beds. It was dubbed a spike by state officials, prompting the implementation of special rules established last month that require surrounding hospitals to accept transfer patients.
According to the Fresno Bee, the number of confirmed and suspected coronavirus patients in hospitals in Fresno County and neighboring counties is more than double what it was four weeks ago.
As per the county health officer, new viral infections and the number of people admitted to hospitals in San Joaquin County has topped the peak numbers of cases and patients during last summer’s surge. However, a spokesman for the county’s Office of Emergency Services claimed that as of Friday, the county has enough hospital beds to prevent patients from being transferred out of the county.
If the crisis worsens and ICU capacity is reduced to zero, hospitals across California will be forced to accept transfer patients, according to the state.
Following a spike blamed on the delta variant, a more contagious and fatal form of the virus, new coronavirus infections have fallen across the state. California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday that more than 80% of Californians aged 12 and above had received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, making the state one of the most vaccinated in the country.
However, hospitalizations due to the coronavirus have continued to rise across the state. As of Thursday, 8,630 persons have been admitted to hospitals across the state due to the coronavirus, more than five times the number admitted on July 1. According to Newsom, the pandemic is still mostly, if not entirely, an epidemic of the unvaccinated.