January 18, 2021
New health order may help hospitals from shifting to crisis care
SACRAMENTO – (INT) – Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, San Diego and Los Angeles counties are among fourteen under a new state public health order aimed at reducing pressure on hospitals strained by surging COVID-19 hospitalizations.

In the past 2-weeks, COVID-19 hospitalizations increased 17% and ICU admissions rose 21% and many hospitals are stretched to capacity.

The order requires hospitals statewide to accept patient transfers from facilities that have implemented contingency or crisis care guidelines as long as those transfers can be done capably and safely. The guidelines support hospitals that are adapting their operations and space, including staff and other resources, to handle the surge as best as possible.

“When hospitals are overwhelmed and overflowing, they are no longer able to provide the traditional standards of care we expect, but if health care resources are available elsewhere, we should ensure Californians can receive appropriate care,” said Dr. Tomás Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. “We must ensure our entire health care system does everything it can to prevent our hospitals from shifting to crisis care standards for people who are seriously ill with COVID-19 or other critical medical conditions.”

To preserve services for the sickest patients, the public health order requires some non-essential and non-life-threatening surgeries to be delayed. But, surgeries for patients who have serious and urgent medical conditions will continue.

The order remains in effect for at least three weeks.

Story Date: January 13, 2021
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