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San Luis Obispo County Hospitals see a slight increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations after reopening

Posted at 6:02 AM, Jul 24, 2021

A month after California’s reopening, the state is seeing COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations rise.

San Luis Obispo County hospitals say back when COVID restrictions were in place, they had periods where there were no COVID-19 hospitalizations at all. But now, they’re seeing a slight increase.

“A month ago if you’d ask me if we had any patients in the hospital with COVID, the answer would’ve been no. And now, I think in the last week we’ve had up to 6 patients in the hospital,” said Twin Cities Hospital Physician Chair Dr, Cinnamon Red.

As most pandemic restrictions are lifted and the Delta variant has hit the Central Coast, doctors are contending with more COVID-19 hospitalizations.

“The predominant COVID admissions for COVID right now are unvaccinated people and that goes across the country as well,” Dr. Thomas Vendegna, Dignity Health’s French Hospital Chief Medical Officer, said.

Local hospitals say those that are admitted to the hospitals are usually unvaccinated and have very few underlying conditions.

“We still do see occasionally some people who have been vaccinated who are getting COVID. But the good news with that is that they’re not sick enough to be hospitalized. They’re well enough to go home,” said Dr. Redd.

As of Tuesday, Emergency SLO reports that the ICU bed capacity in San Luis Obispo County is at 66% and now there are nearly 21,000 confirmed COVID cases.

After nearly two years into the pandemic, both hospitals say they are more prepared than ever if COVID-19 cases surge again. Most of their staff is vaccinated and now they’re past supply chain issues with PPE.

“Now that we’re so well into this, we have the capacity to open up further units if we had a big surge in patients. We’ve also made all the rooms compliant with infectious reasons,” said Dr. Thomas Vendegna.

San Luis Obispo County doctors want to reiterate the importance of getting vaccinated so community members can protect themselves from the more infectious Delta variant.