Hospital beds remain sparse during latest surge

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COVID-19 hospitalizations in Yolo County crept up last week, from 11 on Monday to 15 on Friday.

Hospital and ICU beds have been in short supply in Yolo County, with no ICU beds available in the county on Thursday and just two surgical/medical beds available. More beds opened up on Friday, however.

The vast majority are occupied by non-COVID-19 patients, but the shortage of beds combined with the expectation of more COVID patients to come has raised alarms.

Yolo County Health Officer Dr. Aimee Sisson warned earlier last week that COVID-19 hospitalizations will likely increase further.

“We know from prior surges that hospitalizations peak approximately two weeks after cases peak,” she said. “So we expect hospitalizations to continue to rise for at least two weeks.”

Just how high hospitalizations might rise remains to be be seen, but transmission continues at unprecedented levels.

“Our current case rate is 171 cases per 100,000 residents per day,” Sisson said Friday during a UC Davis Live event. “That is two and half times the previous peak that we’ve seen of cases in Yolo County, which was almost exactly a year ago during January of 2021.

“We are not out of the woods at all in terms of the potential for overwhelming our healthcare system with the number of Omicron patients who will be seeking care in the next two weeks,” Sisson said. “I wish I had better news, but the situation is not great right now.”

At-home testing
The county continues to provide free home antigen tests to individuals with a recent COVID-19 infection.

Under both state and county guidelines, individuals who test positive for COVID-19 may leave isolation after five days if they have a negative antigen test result.

The county is hosting drive-thru pick-up events this week where antigen tests will be handed out. Individuals must have proof of a positive COVID-19 test in the last seven days, either PCR test results from a lab as shown on a phone or tablet or a photo of a home test with name and date of test.

The drive-thru events will take place on:
Wednesday in Knights Landing and at a Healthy Davis Together site in Davis.
Thursday at Sutter Health Park in West Sacramento.
Friday at the Health & Human Services Agency in Woodland.

The county expects to add some rural locations to the lineup. Hours and other details have not been released yet but will be available on the county’s website, https://www.yolocounty.org/coronavirus.

The US Government began issuing free at-home COVID-19 test kits on Tuesday, and are expected a full launch on Wednesday, Jan. 20. The tests are rapid antigen at-home tests, not PCR. Limited to four kits per household, residents just need to begin the process by filling out the form available at https://www.covidtests.gov/. Kit orders are expected to ship in 7-12 days after ordering.

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