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Military sends help to overwhelmed California hospitals

The Air Force has sent help to Adventist Health Lodi Memorial Hospital in San Joaquin County.

LODI, Calif — The military is stepping in to help eight California hospitals that are being overwhelmed by the coronavirus surge

The hospitals say they have beds but are stretched thin for personnel. At California's request, the Air Force has begun sending 160 doctors, nurses and other health care specialists to facilities Some teams deployed Thursday, including 20 people each to Eisenhower Health Hospital in Riverside County and Adventist Health Lodi Memorial Hospital in San Joaquin County.

Both hospitals had beds available for extra patients, but they did not have the staff to care for them. It's highlighting a growing problem across the state as coronavirus cases increase. Coronavirus hospitalizations decreased slightly on Wednesday. But they have increased 68% in the past month.

On Thursday California reported its largest two-day total of confirmed cases at nearly 20,000. There also were 258 additional deaths in 48 hours. More than 8,000 people with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 have been hospitalized. 

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CORONAVIRUS CONTEXT

According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Currently, there is no vaccine. The CDC suggests the following precautions, along with any other respiratory illness:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.