California health officials have ordered that non-essential surgeries be delayed in regions where ICU bed capacity is 10% or less.
The move was made in order to ease the burden on California hospitals, which are treating a record number of Covid-19 patients, according to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). It is effective immediately and will last for three weeks.
CDPH said the order will help “reduce pressure on strained hospital systems and redistribute the responsibility of medical care across the state so patients can continue to receive lifesaving care.”
“California is experiencing an unprecedented and exponential surge in COVID-19 cases, and staffing and other resources are becoming strained,” State Public Health Officer Tomás Aragón said in the public health order.
“Large proportions of California hospitals have reached significant strain on their ability to provide adequate medical care to their communities.”
The number of patients hospitalized in California with Covid-19 has skyrocketed sevenfold over the past two months, Aragon said, while the number of patients being treated in intensive care has soared by over sixfold during the same period.
Surgeries for patients who have serious and urgent medical conditions will continue, officials said.