Adventist Health Hanford is feeling to the strain of the pandemic going into the flu season, with a slightly larger number of its patients being vaccinated. 

At Tuesday's Kings County Board of Supervisors meeting, County Department of Public Health Assistant Director Darcy Pickens outlined the current situation with the local hospital, and the toll that COVID-19 has had on it in recent days. 

“In our communications with the hospital this week, were better able to get a better picture of the overall impact we’re seeing locally," Pickens said. "Not just as it relates to COVID, but also to taking into account the fluctuating capacity of the emergency department, and the subsequent strain felt in that area.”

According to Pickens, there were 40 patients in med surg and eight patients in the intensive care unit at Adventist Health as of Nov. 8. Of these, 33 were Kings County residents. This is six-patient drop in med surg from last week's reported numbers, but it is also one patient more in the ICU from the previous week. The percentage of vaccinated patients also seems to have gone up slightly from 11% to 12%. 

Another point of concern pointed out by Pickens was that Adventist Health had received transfer requests for patients. However, Adventist was forced to turn away these transfers as they are currently at capacity, with patients still waiting for beds. 

“It is our understanding that most hospital emergency departments regionally are indeed holding ICU patients and med surg patients in the ED as they wait for beds,” Pickens said. 

In regards to prevention of hospitalization and infection, Pickens urged vaccination and social distancing, remaining home if one is feeling sick. 

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