SLO County coronavirus cases surge, hospital leaders concerned

While the state reported the Southern California region is at 0% intensive care unit (ICU) availability on Thursday, San Luis Obispo County has approximately 40% ICU beds unused.

The Southern California region includes medical facilities in Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. While space can be found for patients, there is not enough trained staff to care for the increase in patents in some areas.

A letter co-signed by leaders at French Hospital Medical Center, Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, Twin Cities Community Hospital and Arroyo Grande Community Hospital warns of the dire consequences local hospitals face because of the surge in coronavirus cases.

“Recent messaging from community leaders has gravely underestimated our local crisis,” the letter says. “We want to be clear — the dramatic increase in coronavirus hospitalizations and ICU admissions is straining your local hospitals. Some ICUs have had no available beds this week.”

During the past two days, SLO County reported 374 new coronavirus cases and four new deaths. San Luis Obispo  leads with 129 new cases, followed by Paso Robles with 68, Atascadero with 32 and Arroyo Grande with 31.

Of the 8,269 confirmed coronavirus cases in SLO County, 6,568 individuals have recovered, and 56 have died. Of those still suffering from the virus, there are 27 people in the hospital — eight in the intensive care unit, and 1,606 recuperating at home.

Cases by city:

Paso Robles — 1,936
San Luis Obispo — 1,848
Atascadero — 757
Arroyo Grande — 580
Nipomo — 574
CMC inmates, SLO County numbers — 471
Grover Beach — 305
Cal Poly residents — 256
San Miguel — 253
Templeton — 258
Oceano — 264
Los Osos — 154
Morro Bay — 140
Pismo Beach — 126
Shandon — 76
Santa Margarita — 65
Cambria — 57
Creston — 38
Cayucos — 29
Ash-patients — 26
Avila Beach — 13
San Simeon — 7
Other county cases where location has not yet been determined — 36

As of Thursday evening, there have been 1,759,876 positive cases, and 22,146 deaths in California.

Currently, more than 17,627,070 U.S. residents have tested positive for the virus, and 317,929 have died.

In addition, the number of people infected with the virus worldwide continues to increase: 75,283,503 cases with 1,668,367 dead.