Over the last week, Eisenhower Health recorded an all-time high in COVID-19 related hospitalizations, and staff expects that number to continue rising.
“We’re really projecting, at this point, probably not hitting our peak until we’re well into at least the end of July, if not into August and possibly even beyond that,” said Dr. Alan Williamson, the Chief Medical Officer at Eisenhower Health.
Eisenhower’s most recent statistics show hospitalizations have almost tripled since California entered the accelerated part of phase 2.
“It is worrisome, sure, it’s something that we’re going to have to accommodate,” said Dr. Williamson. “One fortunate thing is as it occurs through the summer months, it tends to be a bit slower for us anyway in the hospital, so we don’t have quite as many competing concerns with all the other hospitalizations and surgeries.”
While hospitalizations increase, the data also reveals intensive care unit numbers have stayed relatively low, and Dr. Williamson says it could be due to changing patient demographics.
“We’ve seen an uptick in the number of people who are in their 30s to 50s, as opposed to previously we were seeing patients who are in their 70s, 80s and 90s,” said Dr. Williamson.
Increasing cases and hospital visits aren’t unique to the Coachella Valley, states like Texas and Florida are reporting new peaks as well.
“If we continue on this trajectory, we’re going to be put in a situation where we’re going to have to make tough choices,” said Francis Suarez, the mayor of Miami, Florida.
And as Riverside County prepares for the next phase, Dr. Williamson says his team is refining their surge plan to keep ICU numbers stable.
“We are able to use some techniques now to prevent patients from having to go to the intensive care unit and not having to be on a ventilator, but it’s still going to be a long time before we’re through the entire pandemic itself,” said Dr. Williamson.