One San Jose hospital reached capacity Tuesday as the number of available intensive care unit beds left in all of Santa Clara County dropped to 31.

Regional Medical Center of San Jose was completely full, but it was still accepting patients through its emergency room. There were at least 66 COVID-19 patients at the hospital, putting a strain on hospital resources.

“We are at capacity,” Emergency Department Medical Director Dr. Paul Silka said. “There’s essentially no more beds in the hospital to rapidly put the patients into their in-patient unit.”

The hospital continues to perform surgeries and accept emergency patients, but elective surgeries have been put on hold.

The medical center is also using beds in the post-acute care unit to accommodate new patients, but it won’t be using the pandemic tents it set up in the parking lot back in April.

“We think it’s going to be better to circle the wagons, have our team together and use the space that we have to the best of our ability and forgo the pandemic tent,” Silka said.

The COVID-19 surge is taxing ICUs throughout the county, and the situation is getting worse by the day.

“As of noon today, I am sad to report we are down to 31 beds,” Dr. Ahmad Kamal with Santa Clara County Health Care Preparedness said. “This is 9.5% of our capacity. It is the worst we have seen.”

The county is looking into diverting patients to hospitals with more available beds and even using the De Paul Health Center in Morgan Hill to accommodate 36 sub-acute patients.

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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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