“We are at capacity,” said Sarah Sherwood, a spokesperson for Regional Medical Center in San Jose.
“We don’t have any free beds in the hospital,” she said.
It’s the first time the hospital has reached capacity during the pandemic.
That’s more than 200 beds with 40-percent of their ICU capacity filled with COVID-19 patients.
While the grim milestone is no surprise, Sherwood says this should be the final warning for people not to gather for the holidays.
“We cannot visit other families and we cannot gather in large gatherings and that’s this means, this surge is directly related to Thanksgiving,” said Sherwood.
Tuesday afternoon, UCSF nurses held a virtual rally to voice their concerns about stretched resources and unsafe staffing at the hospital.
“The numbers are increasing day by day, the ED is getting more inundated with patients coming in,” said UCSF Nurse Rebecca Arnold, “It’s frustrating and terrifying because we’ve been speaking to this for months.”
Sherwood says Regional Medical Center is often the first in the Bay Area to reach capacity because of their specialized emergency room.
So far, every patient is getting the care they need, but they are preparing for things to get worse.
“We are talking about putting up tents and transferring patients out, we haven’t had to do that yet and that’s because we are treating patients more quickly,” said Sherwood.
There are 15 hospitals in Santa Clara County, each one inching closer to the same situation as San Jose Regional Medical Center. At her last briefing, Dr. Sara Cody said there are only 31 ICU beds left in the entire county.
At UCSF where the numbers are slightly better, nurses are just as worried.
“I’ve worked on my unit for 16 years, I started there as a new grad, I love the hospital that I work for, I love the people I work with, this is the worst thing I’ve ever seen since I’ve been on that unit,” said Arnold.
“The mood on the ground is just focused, we know how to do this. We are doing what we need to do and we’re not thinking about how we’re feeling right now, we’re just working really hard to combat the virus,” said Sherwood.
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Map: CA counties that can, can’t reopen under new rules
- COVID-19 risk calculator: The safest and most dangerous things to do this holiday season
- Updated number of COVID-19 deaths, cases in Bay Area
- COVID-19 Help: Comprehensive list of resources, information
- California EDD: The most commonly asked questions we get about unemployment and PUA
- Health experts urge flu shots in effort to avoid ‘twindemic’
- How to tell the difference between seasonal allergies and coronavirus symptoms
- Here’s which mask is better to protect from COVID-19
- First COVID-19 vaccine volunteers in US describe experience as Bay Area launches vaccine trials
- From salons to dinner parties: Experts rate the risk of 12 activities
- Coronavirus origin: Where did COVID-19 come from?
- What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Here’s how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during novel coronavirus pandemic
- Coronavirus Doctor’s Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic