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Ventura County

St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard activates surge capacity plan

VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard has activated its surge capacity plan as hospitalizations rise in Ventura County.

On Tuesday, there were 363 people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Ventura County, 66 of them were in intensive care. That means just 1.5% of ICU beds are available.

St. John's Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo has not had to implement its surge plan but St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard has.

Darren Lee, CEO of St. John's Regional Medical Center, said the hospital has seen a significant surge of COVID patients, nearly three times the number they saw during the first surge. He said they started implementing the surge plan a few weeks ago.

"So our ICUs are at their normal capacity now," Lee said. "As part of our surge plan we do have locations and staff available here in Oxnard but we have not yet had to do that in Camarillo."

There are aspects to the surge plan that have not been implemented including having to postpone elective surgeries but that could change.

"We have at times had additional emergency department patients who have overflowed into other areas of our hospital so we can give them a bed. At some point we will have to postpone elective surgeries but we are not at a point where we are having to postpone any critical emergency surgeries," Lee said.

They have vaccinated over 1,500 employees and plan to provide the second dose of the vaccine in two weeks.

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