Santa Clara County unveils data dashboards to track COVID-19 cases, beds, ventilators

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- A massive effort is underway to ensure that Santa Clara County's 11 hospitals are ready for a potential surge in COVID-19 cases.

There are around 200 people hospitalized because of the novel coronavirus, but officials are bracing for that number to rise in the weeks to come.

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Good Samaritan Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Mark Brown has been working tirelessly with his staff to plan ahead.

The hospital has been proactive with the installation of temporary tents outside the emergency department, each with enough room to triage up to six patients at a time. They also have the capacity to triple the number of beds in the ICU.

"We're working on staffing models to make sure that we have enough ICU nurses, respiratory therapists, as well as physicians to care for that," said Brown, who also served as an Army medic for 11 years.

Tuesday morning, the county unveiled a new digital dashboard, outlining the number of ventilators and hospital beds available for use throughout the region.

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"There's a close association between the social distancing orders and the measurement of capacity in our community," said Dr. Jennifer Tong, Hospital Surge Capacity Branch Chief of the Santa Clara County Emergency Operations Center. "The capacity of our health care system to respond to large events is expandable and elastic."

The county also plans to put out a call for medical volunteers in the days to come.

"All of us can calibrate how we contribute to helping fight this virus based on the most information (we) can get," said Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Cindy Chavez.

The Santa Clara Convention Center is in the process of being converted into a federal medical station with 250 beds to treat less-severe cases of COVID-19 and should be open as early as next week.

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"The only way that we can actually re-assure the public, given the anxiety that everyone has, that we all have, is by being transparent," said Santa Clara County Deputy Executive David Campos.

Medical professionals know the worst is yet to come, but are focused on the task at hand.

"Being in that environment where they're always keyed up and always anxious about it... having to wear that protective equipment is wearing on them," said Brown. "They are truly heroes. They're coming in, taking care of sick patients and doing what they truly love to do."

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