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Valley hospital sees peak in COVID-19 hospitalizations while county gets assistance on oxygen supply


The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus continues to climb in our valley.

Now, Eisenhower Health officials are concerned about their ability to treat patients as the growing number of people fill up hospital beds. 

News Channel 3’s Dani Romero has more on the impacts hospitals are facing in this surge. 

New year. New coronavirus records.

“Very serious.," said Dr. Alan Williamson. "We have about 155 patients in the hospital Thursday with COVID, 23 of those are in the intensive care unit that's putting a tremendous strain already on the health system.”

Eisenhower Health Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Alan Williamson said their hospitalizations are reaching a new peak causing the hospital make adjustments for ICU capacity. 

“We are starting in the next day or two over the course of the weekend to convert another major wing of the hospital and isolation rooms for COVID patients.” 

But as hospitals flood with COVID patients, Eisenhower Health is not rationing their care. 

“That's an incredibly difficult step for anyone to have to take," said Dr. Willamson. "So we're obviously focusing a 100% of our attention on doing everything we possibly can to have to avoid having to get into the crisis mode.” 

Dr. Williamson told News Channel 3 not only are hospital resources stretched thin so is oxygen supply. 

“We have issues with oxygen supply in the hospital and being able to deliver that oxygen effectively," said Dr. Williamson. "We're talking about extremely high flows of oxygen using 2,500 plus liters a minute in the hospital as a whole, which is 20 or 30 times higher than we would ever do normally.” 

Riverside County received these two large oxygen generators Thursday. 

“Oxygen is critical right now," said Shane Reichardt. "The COVID patients that have been seen need lots of oxygen. So that's the reason why there's the demand and our suppliers haven't been able to keep up.” 

Shane Reichardt, a spokesperson for the county’s emergency management department said these generators will also support surrounding counties. 

“We're very fortunate to have it here. It's centrally located in the county and close enough that our neighbors to San Bernardino County can quickly come by and their hospitals can also benefit from it," said Reichardt.

In a letter addressed to "Our Community from Eisenhower Health", they explain the current dire situation at their hospital. They say their positivity rate for people who test positive for COVID is now 30.6%.

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Dani Romero


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