Sierra View Medical Center responded to rumors on social media and in the community about its staffing, stating there hasn't been a staff walkout.
“There has NOT been a staff walk out at Sierra View Medical Center, despite widespread disinformation circulating in the community,” the hospital stated. “We believe the rumors may have started from a misunderstanding related to our recent surge in hospitalizations.
“We have received various reports of rumors circulating on social media and the community regarding employment levels at Sierra View Medical Center (SVMC). SVMC administration is committed to bringing our community accurate and transparent information.”
The hospital went on to state: “While we do have a shortage of health care workers to accommodate the increased patient care demand, so do all hospitals in the area and many throughout the nation.”
Sierra View stated it has immediately addressed the latest surge of COVID-19 patients and additional staffing needs by working with the Hospital Council fo Northern and Central California, the Emergency Medical Services Authority and State of California Operations.
Through this partnership, EMSA provided a strike team of 5 paramedics and 6 Emergency Medical Technicians to help with Sierra View's staffing “during the current crisis conditions resulting from a surge in patients impacting emergency department operations,” the hospital stated.
EMSA also placed Sierra View on diversionary status over the weekend in which an emergency department is unable to provide care for additional patients and ambulances are redirected to take patients to other hospitals in the area.
“Working closely with the additional support mechanisms provided from partnerships helped our emergency department through” Saturday, Sierra View stated. On Saturday Sierra View went from having 25 patients admitted to its 18-bed emergency department to 12 admitted patients on Sunday morning. A little after 9 p.m. Saturday, Sierra View was removed from diversionary status.
In addition to the help on Saturday night, Sierra View stated EMSA was sending a team of six registered nurses and one certified nursing assistant on Sunday to help with staffing this week.
On Saturday night on its Facebook page, Sierra View posted: “We are continuing to experience a major surge in patients seeking care through our emergency department. This is the biggest that we have seen throughout this pandemic.
“As we continue to navigate the realities of this surge and the stress it continues to cause, our healthcare teams continue to provide our patients with the care we need.”
Sierra View also posted on its Facebook page it receive assistance from Imperial and American Ambulance on Saturday night to help its staff in the Emergency Department and COVID unit.
“We appreciate your patience and thank you for your support during these unimaginable times,” Sierra View posted on its Facebook page.
As of Friday Sierra View reported it had 33 COVID-19 patients and eight patients suspected of having COVID-19. All 10 ICU beds were in use as of Friday. Six of the 10 patients in the ICU were COVID patients.
On Sunday the state reported there were 177 COVID-19 patients in Tulare County which was actually nine fewer than on Saturday. But the state also reported there were only four ICU beds available in the whole county.