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By Will Fritz
Staff Writer 

HHS data shows local hospitals still slammed with COVID-19 patients

 

Last updated 1/20/2021 at 2:40pm



Local hospitals are continuing to see high levels of coronavirus patients, with two out of three Southwest Riverside County medical centers reporting increases in patients testing positive for COVID-19 in the latest data from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, though the nearest San Diego County hospital to Fallbrook showed a slight drop in COVID-19-positive patients.

According to HHS data released Jan. 10, 56% of patients at Temecula Valley Hospital, 57% of patients at Southwest Healthcare System (which includes Inland Valley and Rancho Springs medical centers in Wildomar and Murrieta, respectively), 59% of patients at Loma Linda University Medical Center Murrieta and 51% of patients at Palomar Medical Center Escondido have tested positive for COVID-19 for the week preceding the data dump.

Those percentages are up from 45% for Temecula Valley Hospital and 53% for Southwest Healthcare System in data from a week prior. Loma Linda University Medical Center Murrieta marked a decline in the latest data, having reported 66% of patients were COVID-19 positive the week before, and Palomar’s decline in patients was so slight its percentage of COVID-19-positive patients this week was unchanged from the 51% it reported last week.

There was an average of about 16 more COVID-19-positive adults at Temecula Valley Hospital in the seven days prior to Jan. 10, about 15 more at Southwest Healthcare System, about one-and-a-half fewer at Loma Linda University Medical Center Murrieta, and about four fewer at Palomar Medical Center Escondido. Palomar is a much larger hospital than the three Riverside County hospitals, accounting for the unchanged percentage in COVID-19 positivity despite the larger, albeit still fairly insignificant, drop in COVID-19-positive patients.

Each hospital was at or close to ICU capacity in the week preceding Jan. 3, with an average of 25.7 ICU beds used out of a total of 26.4 at Temecula Valley Hospital, 36.6 out of 36.6 at Southwest Healthcare System, 12.7 out of 18.1 at Loma Linda University Medical Center Murrieta and 35 out of 36 at Palomar Medical Center Escondido.

The state is officially reporting the 11-county Southern California region’s available ICU capacity at 0%; while the recent data show ICUs not quite at full capacity, state officials and health care professionals have said over the course of the pandemic that available staff also play a role in determining ICU space.

Here is a more detailed look at some of the most recent HHS data on local hospitals:

Palomar Medical Center Escondido

Total beds (7-day average): 392 (unchanged from last week)

Total inpatient beds used (7-day average): 285.6 (282 last week)

Total adults hospitalized, confirmed COVID-19 positive (7-day average): 140 (144.6 last week)

ICU beds (7-day average): 36 (unchanged from last week)

ICU beds used (7-day average): 35 (34.7 last week)

Temecula Valley Hospital

Total beds (7-day average): 159.9 (154.1 last week)

Total inpatient beds used (7-day average): 144 (unchanged from last week)

Total adults hospitalized, confirmed COVID-19 positive (7-day average): 80 (64.3 last week)

ICU beds (7-day average): 26.5 (26.9 last week)

ICU beds used (7-day average): 25.7 (26.9 last week)

Loma Linda University Medical Center Murrieta

Total beds (7-day average): 164 (unchanged from last week)

Total inpatient beds used (7-day average): 110.9 (99 last week)

Total adults hospitalized, confirmed COVID-19 positive (7-day average): 67.7 (69.4 last week)

ICU beds (7-day average): 18.1 (18 last week)

ICU beds used (7-day average): 12.7 (12.1 last week)

Southwest Healthcare System (Inland Valley and Rancho Springs medical centers)

Total beds (7-day average): 268.3 (233.7 last week)

Total inpatient beds used (7-day average): 234.4 (227.9 last week)

Total adults hospitalized, confirmed COVID-19 positive (7-day average): 133.9 (118.9 last week)

ICU beds (7-day average): 36.6 (29.1 last week)

ICU beds used (7-day average): 36.6 (29.7 last week)

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

 

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