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By Will Fritz
Staff Writer 

Local ICUs approach capacity, but COVID-19 patients not a majority of hospitalizations – yet

 

Last updated 12/16/2020 at 4:35pm



As San Diego County and the rest of Southern California continues to trend upward in coronavirus cases, new data released by the federal Department of Health and Human Services last week painted a clearer picture of just how full hospitals are locally and across the country.

The HHS released detailed data Tuesday, Dec. 8, on hospitals’ number of occupied beds, ICU capacity, number of confirmed and suspected coronavirus patients and more.

In North San Diego County and Southwest Riverside County, the data show hospitals are close to ICU capacity, with the lowest being at 70%, but COVID-19 patients are not the majority of those hospitalized locally – at least not yet.

The federal data show COVID-19-positive patients make up on average about 15-30% of those hospitalized at Palomar Medical Center Escondido, Temecula Valley Hospital, Loma Linda University Medical Center Murrieta and Southwest Healthcare System (which includes both Rancho Springs and Inland Valley medical centers in Murrieta and Wildomar).

Loma Linda had the highest percentage of its patients testing positive for COVID-19 at 29%, while Southwest had 21% and Palomar Escondido and Temecula Valley both had 17%, on average in the seven days leading up to Dec. 8.

Based on the data, ICU beds were at 84% at Palomar Escondido, 85% at Temecula Valley, 70% at Loma Linda and 97% at Southwest.

In the wider, state-defined, 11-county Southern California region, available ICU capacity dropped to 6.2% Dec. 11, down from 7.7% a day before..

Here is some of the data released by HHS on those four local health facilities:

Palomar Medical Center Escondido

Total beds (7-day average):

392.1

Total inpatient beds used (7-day average):

268.1

Total adults hospitalized, confirmed COVID-19 positive (7-day average):

48.6

ICU beds (7-day average):

36.1

ICU beds used (7-day average):

30.6

Temecula Valley Hospital

Total beds (7-day average):

139.4

Total inpatient beds used (7-day average):

129.1

Total adults hospitalized, confirmed COVID-19 positive (7-day average):

20.6

ICU beds (7-day average):

16.1

ICU beds used (7-day average):

13.7

Southwest Healthcare System

Total adult inpatient beds (7-day average):

217.9

Total inpatient beds used (7-day average):

205.4

Total adults hospitalized, confirmed COVID-19 positive (7-day average):

42.1

ICU beds (7-day average):

19.4

ICU beds used (7-day average):

18.9

Loma Linda University Medical Center Murrieta

Total beds (7-day average):

172.3

Total inpatient beds used (7-day average):

103.9

Total adults hospitalized, confirmed COVID-19 positive (7-day average):

33.3

ICU beds (7-day average):

20.1

ICU beds used (7-day average):

14

Will Fritz can be reached by email at [email protected]

 

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