Number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Ventura County quadruples in 6 weeks

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The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Ventura County has more than quadrupled in the last six weeks, but officials there said they are “fully capable” of handling a surge.

The region went from having an average of 20 patients in hospitals across the county, to peaking at 101 patients last week, Steve Caroll, the county’s emergency medical administrator, said at a briefing Wednesday.

“It is very serious. We’re very concerned about the hospitals, as this increases does tax their resources,” Carroll said. “However, they are fully capable of handling his current surge.”

He explained that the county’s hospitals have beds and intensive care unit beds available, and officials are not using surge capacity space that has been made available.

As of Wednesday, the county had a total of 6,049 coronavirus cases and 65 deaths. Currently there are 90 people hospitalized for the respiratory illness, with 22 in intensive care, a slight decrease since Tuesday.

Oxnard, the county’s most populous city, has the most cases to date, with 2,187.

More than 97,000 people have been tested in Ventura County, as capacity has increased significantly since the start of the pandemic.

County Executive Officer Mike Powers said officials are processing 10,000 to 15,000 tests a week, and with an automated system, residents are getting results back faster.

California on Wednesday surpassed New York for the most coronavirus cases in the country, with more than 409,000.

Gov. Gavin Newsom last week dialed back reopening measures in the state and required all counties on the state’s watchlist, including all in Southern California, to close indoor operations at restaurants, personal care facilities and other sectors.

Earlier this week, Newsom announced guidelines on how hair and nail salons, barbershops and other personal care services can do business outside.

Bars were ordered shut across the state, but in Ventura County, a modified health order made it OK for bars, breweries and other drinking establishments to operate outdoors, so long as food is served.

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