Latest Santa Cruz Case Count; County Nearly Out Of ICU Beds

Courtney Teague

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, CA — Nearly 2,400 Santa Cruz County residents battled the coronavirus as of Thursday, including 300 fighting from hospital beds. And as the COVID-19 case count continues to rise in Santa Cruz and beyond, local intensive care unit beds are filling up.

Santa Cruz County has seen 8,750 COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, including 1,935 cases in Santa Cruz, according to county data. More than 80 deaths countywide have been linked to COVID-19.

Statewide, hospital admissions appear to have plateaued in recent days. This is consistent with trends across the state, "the major exception" being Southern California, where Los Angeles County has been hit hardest, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday.

In recent days, the number of available intensive care unit beds in Santa Cruz County has hovered just above zero, according to state data. The nine-county Bay Area plus Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, is seeing an average of 8.5 percent ICU capacity.

ICU capacity is the key factor state officials consider when determining whether a county may be removed from the regional stay-at-home order, which shut down outdoor dining, bars, salons and more, and set tighter restrictions on other sectors.

The stay-at-home order is slated to end Jan. 8 in the Bay Area, at which time state officials will review ICU availability projections four weeks in advance before determining whether Santa Cruz County and others may exit the stay-at-home order and return to the four-tiered, color-coded COVID-19 risk assessment system.

This article originally appeared on the Santa Cruz Patch