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How prepared are Sacramento County hospitals for a new surge of coronavirus patients?

As of Wednesday, Sacramento County reported 4,776 coronavirus cases, the majority of which are people between the ages of 18 and 49.

SACRAMENTO, Calif — During his semi-daily press briefing on Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newson said the number of positive coronavirus cases in the state is rising, and the current backlog in the testing system will likely show an even stronger surge.

Carmela Coyle, who heads the California Hospital Association, said hospitals across the state have been planning and partnering together to prepare for the surge.

"For us in the health care delivery system, [more cases] translates into more people who are in need of hospital care and more people who are in need of intensive care as well," Coyle said.

Coyle said health officials are building an inventory of personal protective equipment, which include mask, gown and other items.

Gov. Newsom said that California has 232 million procedure masks and 46 million N-95 masks in its inventory supply.

So what does being prepared look like in Sacramento County?

Sacramento County Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye say hospitals in the county have a minimum of a two-week supply of personal protective equipment.

"All the hospitals have a plan in place for being able to surge," Dr. Kasirye. "So we still have a capacity of 800 beds that are still available. The other concern is whether we have enough staff and PPE, and we are monitoring that right now.

"As far as ventilators, they still have a lot of ventilators, and as I mentioned, they are not using them as much as they were. Right now, the focus is on the bed capacity."

As of Wednesday, Sacramento County reported 4,776 coronavirus cases, the majority of which are people between the ages of 18 and 49.

Earlier this month, the county scaled back on its reopening process by closing bars and dine-in restaurants hoping this would help bring the number of cases down.

Dr. Kasirye said if that does not work, the county is discussing fining businesses that violate COVID-19 guidelines, much like what Yolo County is starting to do.

Follow the conversation on Facebook with Mayde Gomez.

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