Too many patients, not enough staff at many Fresno County hospitals after huge spike in COVID-19 cases

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The county now has over 4,300 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than 150 people currently hospitalized, and two dozen in the ICU.

Dr. Rais Vohra says another issue has been staffing because some employees have had to be quarantined after being potentially exposed to the virus.

"So while we're seeing an uptick in numbers, we're also having to quarantine people helping with the pandemic," says Vohra.

Vohra says at this point, they're looking into the possibility of reopening the beds at the Fresno Convention Center if there is a surge.

Tulare County health officials say they're seeing similar problems with hospital capacities.

They're in talks with the state to re-activate the Porterville Developmental Center as an acute care site in case they need it while hospitals look at ways to improve staffing.

"They're working to free up staffing in a variety of ways by eliminating elective surgeries," says Dr. Vohra.

Dr. Jessica Mason, an emergency physician with UCSF Fresno, says although they've seen an increase, they're able to handle it for now.

"We've increased the number of physicians who can work shifts and have additional space we can convert to additional patient areas when it gets to that point," she says.

She reminds people to wear their masks, and to not hesitate to come to the ER if they're dealing with serious symptoms.

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