The number of ICU beds available in Santa Clara County continues to be a moving target as hospitals and the public health department focus both on treatment and testing.

Regional Medical Center, O’Connor Hospital and St. Louise Regional Hospital reached full ICU capacity earlier this week, but officials have been quick to point out that full capacity fluctuates.

“There’s a pendulum that swings between almost full and full and we are treating patients much more quickly now because we understand how to treat them better,” Sarah Sherwood from Regional Medical Center said.

As of Thursday afternoon, the county said 13% of its non-surge ICU beds were available. So far, the hospitals at full capacity have been able to expand ICU care when needed and will not turn away COVID-19 patients.

Good Samaritan Hospital has been putting together a new outdoor tent that will help the hospital expand its waiting area during the cold months and allow for more social distancing.

As of Thursday afternoon, the hospital had 37 COVID-19 patients, the lowest of any hospital in the county.

Meanwhile, the county’s public health department on Thursday launched a new door-to-door COVID-19 testing program targeting hard hit neighborhoods, such as East San Jose.

A team of investigators and contact tracers will work with community groups to try to ensure that all families can get a test.

“The fear is real, and working and partnering with our community leaders, our resident leaders, our promotoras who are trusted in the community, who are from the community, they bridge that divide,” Dr. Ana Lilia García with the health department said.


By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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