First, there was a surge in COVID-19 cases in the South Bay. Now, there’s an increase in the number of people being hospitalized with the virus.

“We are beginning to see a rise in COVID-positive patients needing hospital care,” Santa Clara County Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said Monday.

At Regional Medical Center of San Jose, the number of COVID-19 patients has jumped from 18 to 44 in three weeks. One-third of the current patients are in the ICU.

“We are dusting off all of our contingencies, which includes being able to expand our ICU bed capacity, having staff available to staff those beds and then also making sure that we have all our personal protective equipment available for our staff,” Regional Medical Center Emergency Department Medical Director Dr. Paul A. Silka said.

Throughout Santa Clara County, 145 people are hospitalized with COVID-19. While there are enough hospital beds available right now, health leaders are concerned because a previous backup plan may no longer be available because of a statewide surge.

“In the past while we knew that we could rely on asking for help from other jurisdictions if needed it, that’s not the case now because everyone is quite busy attending to their own residents and their own communities,” Cody said.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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