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ICUs at full capacity, affecting other medical needs throughout state

ICU situation linked to extended stay-at-home order
Heroes work here, Cottage
Tracy Lehr / NewsChannel 3

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. -- It appears Governor Newsom is leaving the extension of the current stay-at-home order up to Dr. Mark Ghaly.

The Health and Human Service Secretary will be looking at the numbers linked to intensive care units before making a decision official this week.

ICU capacity in the Southern California region has hovered around zero during the Christmas holiday, but Santa Barbara Public Health Officer Henning Ansorg said that is not about beds or furniture.

Dr. Ansorg said it is about staffing that can change daily. Medical staff members may be out sick or may be getting vaccinated.

Gov. Newsom said it could impact people in need of other emergency care. That could include a rainy day car accident or a heart attack.

There were 11 deaths linked to COVID-19 reported in Ventura County on Monday and 3 more along the central coast.

The numbers reflect a surge, especially after the holiday gatherings.

One health care leader recommends just saying "no" to invitations. It will help health care workers and perhaps family and friends.

Matt Kemsley's family of Camarillo agrees. His Wife Paola Kemsley said her husband is a respiratory therapist who found out he got COVID19, possibly from a patient, after he received the vaccine.

"Throughout the pandemic we have done whatever possible as a family to keep ourselves safe, staying home, washing hands, masks and so forth, however, we knew we were in a high risk group since my husband works at a hospital with COVID patients."

She said he came down with symptoms before Christmas last week and so did she.

"Then we tested positive and so did the kids, so I think it is going to take a lot more than just individual efforts to get this pandemic under control, it is going to take community efforts. "

She hopes people will take preventative efforts to help frontline workers like her husband.

"People have to care, not just about themselves and their families but about the workers they are exposing," said Kemsley.

She believes New Year's Eve celebrations can wait until next year when there isn't a spike ICU capacity.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here

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