Santa Clara County Health Officials Beg Residents Not to Travel as They Fear Another Surge – NBC Bay Area

In Santa Clara County, health leaders are concerned about a surge on top of a surge as ICU beds quickly fill.

On Sunday, hundreds of people were at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds in San Jose to get tested for COVID, but public health leaders say that getting tested isn’t enough to travel.

Hospitals in Santa Clara County remain overwhelmed as COVID patients fill up intensive care units. On Sunday night there were just 25 ICU beds in the county of two million people, leaving hospitals to strategize how to care for patients.

“Every morning hospitals are huddling together, trying to distribute patients to provide the best quality care,” said Dr. Ahmad Kamal, Santa Clara County director of healthcare preparedness. “We’re concerned about the effects of Christmas and New Year’s on our healthcare system.”

With an increase in patients, Kaiser Permanente has postponed elective and non-urgent surgeries at all of its Northern California facilities through January 4. Sutter health is also postponing some elective surgeries.

Emergency rooms are also stretched thin. Today county health leaders again urged people wanting a COVID test to steer clear of emergency departments and instead visit COVID testing sites like the one a the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.

Kamal said that 40% of people who have COVID are asymptomatic so it’s important for everyone, not just those with symptoms, to avoid travel and getting together with people outside their households.

“Given that people have been traveling and gathering, we remain concerned about a surge on top of a surge,” said Kamal. “Thanksgiving was all we can take.”

This is why he is urging people to cancel New Years Eve plans, because he said the county simply can’t afford to have any more cases of COVID.

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