Fresno County warns hospitals may be forced to ration health care as COVID-19 cases surge

California
Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno is seen in January 2021. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno is seen in January 2021. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

The Delta variant surge was reaching critical levels in parts of the Central Valley this week, with some hospitals overwhelmed with a crush of COVID-19 patients and Fresno County officials warning they might take drastic action if conditions continue to deteriorate.

Parts of the Central Valley as well as rural Northern California have become the hot zones for COVID-19 in the state even as hospitalizations are beginning to fall in many parts of California, most dramatically in Southern California and the Bay Area, which generally have higher vaccination rates.

In a sign of how severe the crisis has become, Fresno County‘s health officer said Friday that hospitals may be forced to ration healthcare — choosing who receives lifesaving measures — because of dwindling resources.

“The largest hospital systems that we have here in the county are telling us that they are over 100% of their normal capacity, and some of them are as high as 140%, which is really pushing the surge standards and really almost tipping us into what we call the ‘crisis standards of care,’” Dr. Rais Vohra, Fresno County’s interim health officer, said Friday.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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