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Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Opens Second COVID-19 Unit Expands Hotline Hours

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Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Opens Second COVID-19 Unit Expands Hotline Hours

For the second week in a row Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System is seeing a record high number of positive COVID-19 patients that need hospitalization. Skilled clinical professionals are currently caring for 22 COVID-19 patients at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital, three of them requiring the use of a ventilator.

“We cannot get to the dangerous point of taxing hospital capacity, and that appears a very real possibility right now,” said Pete Delgado, President/CEO of Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System. “Our team is doing an outstanding job making adjustments to safely accommodate all of our patients however, I’m concerned we may see another wave of COVID patients related to recent holiday gatherings.”

In the past four weeks, SVMHS has seen a dramatic increase in key COVID-19 indicators. One month ago, on June tenth, 302 people had tested positive at SVMHS. Today, that number has more than doubled and stands at 736 positive cases. A month ago, there were 9 hospitalized COVID-19 patients compared to the 22 positive patients currently receiving medical care.

The original COVID-19 Unit at SVMHS can care for 14 patients in individualized rooms, all requiring nurses wear full personal protective gear to enter. SVMHS has now opened up a second unit in the hospital to care for COVID-19 patients. Additional surge plan contingencies will be rolled out as needed. In anticipation of the pandemic spread, Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital activated its Hospital Incident Command System in early February. The hospital is working with Monterey County Health Department and other partner hospitals to carefully monitor conditions and facility capacity.

SVMHS has expanded the hours of its free, bilingual COVID-19 hotline. Registered nurses are available to answer questions from the public as well as from provider offices seven days a week from 7am-11pm.

“We know what works in helping to slow the spread,” said Delgado. “It’s simple and we must not get complacent. Wear a face covering. Wash your hands frequently and practice social distancing, even when you’re outside. It’s not too late to turn things around.”

Today, the Monterey County Health Department reported a total of 31,795 people had been tested with a total of 2,419 positive results. For more information and resources, go to svmh.com/coronavirus.