September 24 2021 03:30 pm

Sacramento health officials strained for resources amid another COVID-19 surge

Local News

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. (KTXL) — As the number of positive COVID-19 cases continue to spike in the greater Sacramento area, health professionals are once again strained for resources and say the only way to help with the lack of resources is to get vaccinated.

“Certainly our teams are very tired,” said Dr. Roderick Vitangcol, physician-in-chief at Kaiser Permanente Sacramento.

Being tired has been the theme for Dr. Vitangcol and his team for the past 18-months as there’s another surge in coronavirus-positive patients.

“We were hoping that this summer and fall we’d be on the other side of this whole pandemic,” Dr. Vitangcol said.

But even with the vaccine readily available to most, Dr. Vitangcol says not enough people got vaccinated to prevent this recent uptick.

“The overall majority of patients who are in the hospital and especially those that are very acutely ill and in our ICUs are unvaccinated,” Dr. Vitangcol said.

Health officials in Sacramento County say if the number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to rise, finding an available bed at a hospital will be difficult.

“The hospitals are at capacity now. We are concerned about the status availability of both the general beds and beds in the intensive care unit,” said Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye.

And that means those that have health needs not related to COVID-19 may run into some issues.

“If you are in a car accident or if you have other things going on, that if we reach capacity, we won’t be able to … we’ll have to turn some people away,” said epidemiologist Dr. Flojaune Cofer.

Dr. Flojaune Cofer says the vaccine would be a big help to ease the strain on hospitals but understands people have their reservations.

“Ask your questions to health care providers. Be very clear about where you’re going for your sources of information and make sure you understand what it means and what it doesn’t mean,” Dr. Cofer said.

Overall both doctors urge people who have yet to get vaccinated to do so.

Even though resources are limited at Kaiser, doctors say they will still do their best to treat anyone who comes into the emergency room needing their help.

UC Davis Health released the following statement to FOX40:

“Patients who come to UC Davis Health will always receive the care they need. As the area’s only Level 1 trauma center, our hospital is almost always full – even before COVID-19. Adding dozens of COVID-19 patients – who are overwhelmingly unvaccinated – into an already busy hospital does make bed scheduling and care delivery more difficult, but our role in the health care system is to handle whatever patient needs arise. With every hospital being impacted by COVID-19, there isn’t the pre-pandemic level of staffing flexibility that most hospitals use to bring in additional staff when needed. Since our hospital is almost always full, this situation is not as challenging at UC Davis Medical Center, as we are always staffed to serve a full hospital.”

Stephanie Winn – Senior Public Information Officer, UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center

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