BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – The coronavirus continues to cast a shadow over Kern County. As local case numbers and hospital admission rates gradually decline, intensive care units grapple with treating a flood of COVID patients struggling for their lives. State data says that 72 people in Kerns intensive care units are struggling with a life-threatening illness … only 19 intensive care beds remain in the district. Some local hospitals say they don’t have enough nurses to treat all core residents who end up hospitalized with the coronavirus.
“We are short of nurses in Central Valley and Bakersfield,” said Bruce Peters, President and CEO of Mercy Hospital Bakersfield. “We still have our help from the National Guard and state travel agents for recruiting.”
“How many State and National Guard nurses are helping in the local hospitals?” Asked Moses Small at the age of 17.
“We have over 109 contract medical professionals,” said Brynn Carrigan, director of Kern County’s public health department. “We have three National Guard teams with 32 employees who help out.”
The influx of COVID patients makes it difficult for hospitals to treat everyone else.
“We’re seeing hospital admissions for other illnesses at levels higher than the previous two climbs,” said Carrigan. “We had an assignment to stay at home for about a year. And a lot of people postponed their provision during this time. “
Health experts say vaccination is the best way to stay safe … and save hospital beds for other patients who need them. “
The people in the hospitals, people who come into this surge, are mostly unvaccinated, ”said Dr. Hemmal Kothary, Chief Medical Officer, Dignity Health Central California Division. “People who end up in intensive care are not vaccinated.”
To schedule an appointment for your admission, visit the state’s website.