Story at a glance
- California officials ordered a public health mandate requiring hospitals to help delegate patients throughout the state.
- The recent COVID-19 outbreak has pushed hospitals to capacity.
Amidst the continuously climbing COVID-19 cases, California has issued a new statewide public health order maximizing the surge capacity for all state hospitals. This will require all California hospitals to accept patients from hospitals in crisis care.
Hospitals with room for surge patients must accept a request for patient transference from one health clinic within 60 minutes of filing the formal request, the Jan. 5 order reads.
“Immediate action is necessary to preserve resources, to help prevent the need to adopt crisis standards of care, and to ensure that hospitals can continue to care for critically ill Californians suffering from COVID-19 as well as other life-threatening conditions,” State Public Health Officer Tomás Aragón wrote.
This comes as more than half of California hospitals reportedly requested waivers for help with staffing shortages and increasing patient loads, prompted by COVID-19 outbreaks, Aragón notes.
The new state public health order attempts to triage care across all hospitals so patients with COVID-19 related illnesses and other conditions can have access to care.
As of Jan. 6, more than 11,000 new cases have been reported. Both hospitalizations and deaths have increased steadily. Hospitals and medical professionals have voiced concerns over the uptick in cases in relation to the recent holiday gatherings.
“I’m very worried that we are going to see an uptick in the number of hospitalizations and deaths related to gathering that happened over the holidays,” Rais Vohra, the Fresno County public health department’s interim health officer, told KTLA.