Local and state officials were set to meet in El Centro on Saturday to hash out a plan to deal with a high number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations that have at times overwhelmed the healthcare system in Imperial County.
“There will be a delegation of high-level officials from Sacramento that will be here to listen to us and also to make an assessment of our needs,” El Centro Mayor Efrain Silva said Saturday. “And there’s a pledge of support from the governor’s office that we appreciate.”
The goal of the meeting is to come up with a mitigation plan to drive down Imperial County’s high positivity rate and increase its hospital capacity, he said.
The meeting comes a day after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he was urging Imperial County to reimpose stricter stay-at-home orders amid a per-capita case rate and test positivity rate that both rank as the state’s highest. The county has averaged 1,173 new cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks, as well as a test positivity rate of 23%. Over the last five weeks, more than 500 patients have been transferred to other counties to relieve pressure on the rural county’s hospitals.
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