VENTURA, Calif. -- Ventura County’s numbers are rising drastically causing great concern.
The county held a special Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday updating everyone on the numbers and response efforts for COVID-19.
Nearly 900 new cases were announced today, and hospitalizations are at an all time high. There are 950 people hospitalized in the county right now, 420 of those are COVID related.
Health experts say the right in numbers is due to Christmas gatherings. They expect the numbers to increase more over the next couple of weeks following the New Year’s holiday.
All eight hospitals in Ventura County say they’re maxing out on capacity.
“At times we don’t have any place to put ambulances,” said Steve Carroll, who is the Ventura County Emergency Medical Services Administrator. “The more they come into the hospitals there is no place to put those patients. A year ago the ambulance patient wait time averaged 19 minutes, currently we are having report of four and five hour wait to get patients off loaded because there isn’t any place to put a patient when there are no beds.”
County officials also said there is 8 percent of people hospitalized in Ventura County that are from out of area.
“Our current bed availability is also critically low,” said Carroll. “Today we had two ICU beds across the county available at staff, there is 57 non ICU beds available. This again is not taking into account all of our surge capacity, but it is what is staffed an available today, and it’s concerning.”