Health professionals worry about possible surge in coronavirus cases

The State dealt with the initial surge by opening surge hospitals. They weren't needed then, but they could be needed now.
While the number of coronavirus cases aren't getting worse, they aren't getting better either, and health professionals are now worried about the possibility of another surge.

"I'm hearing from hospitals, including our own, that they are at 80-85% occupancy and as they do more elective cases, they'll get to 90-95%" said Dr. Hector Flores with Adventist Health White Memorial Hospital.

The State dealt with the initial surge by opening surge hospitals. They weren't needed then, but they could be needed now.

The problem isn't more coronavirus patients, it's more patients coming in for elective surgery. It's good news for hospitals, that's how they stay in business, but it does mean less beds for a possible second surge.

"What were elective cases 60 to 90 days ago are now becoming urgent, so we really do need to start taking care of those individuals who have that pressing need. So as we do that, the hospital space that we had for a surge will get filled up," Dr. Flores said.

County leaders don't currently see a need to open St. Vincent or Long Beach Memorial, but Dr. Flores is now concerned about the recent protests and how they could impact the spread of the virus.

"We don't know what the impact of the protests and the civil disturbance, what that created in terms of contagion, and equally important is those individuals may have taken the disease home to an elderly or frail relative," Dr. Flores said.

The surge hospitals are here. Now the question is will there be money and the political will to open them if they are needed.

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