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Hospitals feel the rush of COVID-19 cases
The rising number of coronavirus cases in Stanislaus County has prompted a closure of a variety of businesses this week and is straining the area's hospital's ability to care for a growing number of COVID-19 patients.
Stanislaus County has seen 2,531 cases of COVID-19, with 436 presumed active and 44 deaths, according to the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency. In the last 24 hours, the county recorded 140 new cases.
Just under half of the current cases are in the hospital, according to the SCHSA. Ninety-eight confirmed and 63 suspected cases are in regular hospital beds and 48 are in ICU beds.
"There is no question that we have had an increased number of cases here in Stanislaus County," said Stanislaus County Chief Executive Officer Jody Hayes. "It's very similar to what's happening within the state of California, but we also need to be honest and recognize that we have had a significant increase in the number of COVID patients in hospitals and as well as positive cases in our community.
"Four weeks ago, if I would've been doing this video, I believe we had 26 people in local hospitals that were COVID positive," Hayes said in a Facebook video from Stan Emergency. "A week later it was 49. Last week we were up to 85 and as I talk to you today [Wednesday] we have 118 individuals in local hospitals who are COVID positive patients. In addition we have 52 suspected COVID positive patients, which is a significant number as well."
Sixty-one percent of the hospital beds in Stanislaus County are in use and 68 percent of the ICU beds are occupied, according to the SCHSA. The ventilator supply is at 76 percent available.
Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors Chair Kristin Olsen initially questioned the move to close businesses again because the area's hospitals appeared to be capable of handling the rise in cases, but new information about staffing and isolation requirements means the bed availability is less.
"As it turns out, while the numbers reported to the State and County do accurately reflect the number of licensed beds in our County, they do not reflect the number of available beds due to both staffing issues and patient isolation requirements," Olsen wrote on Twitter. "In reality, our hospitals in Stanislaus County are very stretched at this time and are either at or near their max capacity in the ICUs."
While COVID-19 is the most deadly for elderly individuals and those with underlying health conditions, the data locally is showing that younger age groups are seeing the most positive cases and hospitalizations.
Of the positive cases, 90 percent are in people 70 years and younger. The age group with the most positive cases are those between 21 to 30 years, which account for 20 percent of the total cases. That's followed by 31 to 40 year olds, which have 19 percent of the cases. Those 41 to 50 years account for 17 percent of the cases. Those 20 years and under and those between 51 to 60 years old, each account for 14 percent of the cases. Those in the age groups of 71 to 80 years old and 81 to 90 years ol each represent 4 percent of the cases. Those 91 years and older are at 2 percent of the cases.
Individuals 70 and younger are also having to be hospitalized, according to the SCHSA. The largest hospitalizations are among those 51 to 60 years and 61 to 70 years, which each represent 20 percent of the hospitalized cases. Those 71 to 80 years account for 15 percent of the hospitalizations, but are followed by 41 to 50 year olds, who account for 13 percent of the hospitalizations. The age group of 81 to 90 year olds are 12 percent of the hospitalizations and those 31 to 40 years old represent 11 percent of the hospitalized cases. Those 21 to 30 years old account for 5 percent of the cases, followed by those 91 years and older at 3 percent of the hospitalizations. Two percent of those hospitalized are 20 years or younger.