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Coronavirus

Healthcare workers fear Ventura County is in beginning stages of COVID-19 surge

ventura County icu
Senerey De Los Santos / KEYT

VENTURA, Calif. - Hospitalization numbers are high in Ventura County and healthcare workers say they believe it is just the beginning of a surge.

Ventura County said they have nearly 740 patients that are hospitalized throughout the county and 80 of those patients are battling COVID-19. Intensive Care Unit numbers are also rising. There are 100 patients in the ICU throughout the county and 28 of those are COVID-19.

What is most concerning, is the number of ICU beds that are left. Within the whole county officials say there are only six beds that are available.

Dr. Joseph Esherick, who is an ICU doctor at Ventura County Medical Center, said there are currently no ICU beds available at Ventura County Medical Center.

“I think this is the beginning of the surge, and I honest feel like it’s going to get worst before it gets better,” said Esherick. “What we are seeing is this COVID-19 infection is causing a really severe phenomenon where they are on a ventilator for weeks, if not months. If they survive, their lungs may be permanently injured.”

Ventura County Medical Center said they plan to implement a surge plan, which all hospitals in the county have. This requires housing infected COVID patients in areas of the hospital that have non-infected patients.

Healthcare workers are asking people to be responsible and try to limit the spread of the virus as we head into the holiday weekend.

“All of the doctors, nurses and housekeepers are pretty overwhelmed right now,” said Esherick. “We are getting into a burnout phase, and if this continues at this rate it is at, it will be at an emotional and physical cost."

Health / Ventura County

Senerey de los Santos

Senerey de los Santos is a multimedia journalist for KEYT | KCOY | KKFX covering primarily Ventura County.