By Renée Santos

MODESTO (CBS13) — An increase in coronavirus cases is having a direct impact on hospitals in Stanislaus County, many pulling resources to meet the need.

The county is currently dealing with the highest positivity rate in the state sitting at 15.3%, according to the state website. ICU bed availability is at 38%. Gov. Newsom sounded the alarm about the increase in hospital cases Monday.

“This continues to be a deadly disease. This continues to be a disease that puts people in our ICUs, in our hospitals, and is currently putting a strain on our hospital system and in our ICUs,” Newsom said.

Terry Withrow is Stanislaus County District 3 board supervisor. He gave insight into the concerns within hospitals in the county.

“The biggest issue we found and what we are being told by the hospitals is not necessarily bed space as it is staffing,” he explained.

CBS13 went directly to Kaiser and Doctors Hospital for answers on current bed capacity in their facilities. While Doctors didn’t get back to us, Kaiser says it has maintained readiness. Right now, their hospitals aren’t at capacity and they tell us supplies are on standby to increase capacity if needed.

Michelle Gaskill-Hames, Senior Vice President for Hospital and Health Plan Operations at Kaiser Permanente Northern California issued a statement which said in part:

“California is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. Kaiser Permanente undertook significant preparations in the Spring to treat the initial surge of COVID cases. Since that initial surge, we have always maintained a state of readiness for additional COVID cases. Kaiser Permanente’s enterprise command centers have remained open to assist with local needs, and we have maintained supplies that will enable us to increase our capacity to care for hospitalized patients. As a result, Kaiser Permanente facilities and staff can manage the current growth in hospitalized cases, expertly treating patients with the virus while safely caring for patients with other conditions as well. Because Kaiser Permanente is a fully integrated health care system, we can more readily accommodate patients, if needed, from one Kaiser Permanente medical center to other Kaiser Permanente sites as we did during the North Bay fires.”

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