At least three California counties in one of the regions in a stay-at-home order has 0% intensive care unit capacity available, according to data from the state department of public health.
“Whenever the ICUs get full, it’s really hard to move patients through the emergency department. It’s really hard for us to provide efficient services,” Dr. Rais Vohra said, an emergency physician who serves as the interim public health officer for Fresno County.
Vohra emphasized how dire the situation is, adding that working on the frontlines "gives you a very eye opening perspective."
“I know that those who aren’t in the medical field may not understand or quite grasp just how dire the situation is, but all the things you’re hearing about – how impacted our hospitals are, about how dire the situation with our ICUs is – it’s absolutely true and that really is the reason that we want everyone to stay home as much as possible,” he said.
Vohra warned that 10-15% of all infected cases will need to visit an emergency department and some will require hospitalization and therefore will be a strain on services at hospitals for all patients, including those not battling Covid-19.
According to information from the California Department of Public Health:
- Fresno has nine available ICU beds.
- Kings County has zero ICU beds available.
- Madera county has one bed available.
The counties are part of the San Joaquin Valley Region which is under a three-week state mandated stay-home order triggered last weekend by the low number of ICU beds available.
CNN has reached out to the health departments in Kings and Madera counties for comment.