SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — Santa Clara County health officials reported a grim milestone Thursday for the county which has been the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic in the Bay Area.

As of Thursday afternoon, 1,019 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the county, an increase of 63 cases since Wednesday. There were four more deaths reported, for a total of 36 in the county.

Also on Thursday, data from the county’s coronavirus dashboard showed 9,218 people have been tested, with positive tests totaling 11 percent.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Earlier Thursday officials laid out plans to increase the number of hospital beds and personal protection equipment (PPE) available in the county to prepare for the surging number of coronavirus patients.

During a news briefing Thurday morning, Dr. Jennifer Tong, Director of the Health Care Surge Capacity planning branch of county’s emergency operations center, said the county’s hospitals are all in surge capacity planning stages.

“The capacity of our health care system to respond to large events is expandable and elastic,” said Tong in a prepared statement. “Hospitals in our area are prepared to increase the number of hospital beds available to care for those affected by COVID-19.”

Tong said the current efforts to secure PPE were focusing on local expertise and available supplies to close the gap of what’s needed and what’s available, instead of relying on the federal government.

The county is adding 250 beds at Santa Clara Convention Center for COVID-19 patients in recovery after being discharged and it looking for additional beds for patients needing skilled nursing needs, said Tong.

On March 31, 2020, there were 936 available acute hospital beds, 92 ICU beds, and 1,456 surge beds available in the county.

To increase staffing, the county is expediting hiring practices and will roll out an online application for providers with experience and expertise who are looking to help.

The 1,019 cases of coronavirus in the Santa Clara County are the most of all Bay Area counties and second-most in California after Los Angeles. Current information about the coronavirus spread in the county is available on the county’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard.

 

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