Almost 9 in 10 of those hospitalized in Tulare County due to COVID-19 from late July to late August were unvaccinated.

That's according to a graphic Tulare County Health and Human Services recently posted on its Facebook page. The health department reported on hospitalizations from July 25 to August 25.

It reported of the 290 patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Tulare County, 252 were unvaccinated and 38 were vaccinated, meaning 87 percent of those hospitalized due to COVID were unvaccinated.

The health department reported 52 of those patients were admitted to ICU and of those who were admitted to ICU all by one were unvaccinated.

The health department reported there were 11 deaths in the county between July 25 and August 25 due to COVID-19 and 10 of the 11 deaths were unvaccinated with the vaccinated patient being admitted to ICU also dying.

Since August 25 there's been a dramatic increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations. On Tuesday, the state reported there were 183 hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in Tulare County.

And the number of ICU beds available in Tulare County keeps dropping. The state reported on Tuesday there was just one ICU bed available in the county. That number was four on Sunday and three on Monday.

As of Friday Sierra View Medical Center reported none of its 10 ICU beds were available. Of the 10 ICU patients six were COVID patients. As of Friday, Sierra View reported it had 33 COVID-19 patients and eight patients suspected of having COVID-19. Sierra View has estimated about 95 percent of its COVID patients are unvaccinated.

There have been 874 deaths due to COVID-19 in Tulare County. Sierra View has had 174 deaths due to COVID-19.

The state continues to predict a high number of deaths to occur in Tulare County. It's model predicts there will be 1,070 deaths due to COVID in the county by October 7.

The number of active cases in Tulare County continues to rise. There are now 3,798 active cases in Tulare County.

The state reported since March 11, 2020 there have been 57,068 cases in Tulare County, meaning 11.4 percent of the county's residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

As of Tuesday the state reported the county had a case rate of 48 per 100,000. One encouraging stat is while still high the county's positive test rate continues to slightly decline.

On Tuesday the state reported the county's positive test rate was down to 9.3 percent, a decline from 9.5 percent the previous day and a previously reported 10.7 percent. But it remains to be seen how the positive test rate will be impacted in the next couple of weeks by the Labor Day weekend.

SIERRA VIEW NOT ON DIVERSION STATUS

With rumors continuing in the community about the status of Sierra View's emergency department, Sierra View reported on Tuesday the “emergency department is not currently in diversion status.” Diversionary status is when an emergency department is unable to provide for additional patients and ambulances are directed to take patients to other hospitals in the area.

Sierra View officials stated the hospital was on diversionary status for about five hours on Saturday, going from 25 patients admitted to hits 18-bed emergency department to 13 admitted patients on Sunday morning. Sierra View stated it was removed from diversionary status at 9:15 p.m. Saturday.

Sierra View has also had to deal with rumors there was a staff walkout, stating that's not the case, adding there's a staff shortage. To deal with that shortage, Sierra View stated it began to welcome traveler clinical staff, registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses and student nurses on Monday.

“We encourage our community not to delay care,” Sierra View stated. The hospital added it's collaborating with the Hospical Council of Northern and Central California, the California Department of Public Health, the Emergency Medical Services Authority and the State of California Operations “to keep our hospital adequately staffed to continue offering safe high-quality patient care.”

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