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California’s Hospitals Hit Hard By Massive Surge Of COVID-19 Patients

Medical staffing is stretched increasingly thin as California hospitals scramble to find beds for patients amid an explosion of Coronavirus cases that threatens to overwhelm the state’s emergency care system. An enormous crush of cases in the last six weeks has California’s death toll spiraling ever higher. Another 161 fatalities were reported Sunday. All of Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley have exhausted their regular intensive care unit capacity

The Northern Region’s ICU capacity has dropped to 21%. A capacity of 15% would bring the stay at home order already imposed on most of the state.

Local healthcare leaders are pleading with the public to slow the spread through the practices that have been recommended for months: Stay home and away from other people as much as possible and wear face coverings when going out. Traveling to visit friends and family for the holidays is highly discouraged and likely to contribute to another deadly surge.

California’s exposure notification system uses Bluetooth technology to alert a subscriber if they come in close contact with another subscriber who has tested positive for COVID-19. The program ensures privacy and does not share identities. Details are at canotify.ca.gov

Public health is strongly urging everyone to get tested. It’s free and convenient with sites in Shasta Lake, Anderson, South Redding, Enterprise and Shasta College. Testing is by appointment only at lhi.care/covidtesting or visit shastaready.org.