Virus pushes some California hospitals near ICU capacity

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Hospitals in the heart of California’s Central Valley are running out of beds in their intensive care units because of an influx of coronavirus patients, prompting officials on Friday to declare an official “surge.”

State officials announced that hospitals in the 12-county San Joaquin Valley region have had fewer than 10% of staffed adult ICU beds for three consecutive days.

The news triggered special rules announced last month that require nearby hospitals to accept transfer patients. If ICU capacity falls to zero, hospitals statewide must also accept transfer patients.

California is averaging 27.9 newly confirmed cases per 100,000 people, down from 33.1 last month. But hospitalizations have continued to increase, with 8,766 patients.

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