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COVID-19 Is Wreaking Havoc In State Hospitals, Too – Virus Update For Jan. 15

CoalingaStateHospital.jpg
Department of State Hospitals
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Coalinga State Hospital

In the months since the pandemic began, COVID-19 has taken a tremendous toll on hospitals, wherebedspace is at a minimum andstaff are overworked, and prisons, where tight living quarters and mixed enforcement of safety precautionshave left incarcerated people vulnerable to soaring infections.

But the virus is also wreaking havocin facilities that fall somewhere in between, known as state hospitals. In California’s six state hospitals, where convicted felons serve additional time after finishing their court sentences, a recent surge has led to nearly 1,600 cases andat least 42 deaths among patients and another 1,700 cases among employees.

This week’s COVID-19 update sheds light on the pandemic experience within these facilities, featuring excerpts from interviews with Coalinga State Hospital patients Andrew Warren, James Hydrick and Gary Gillispie.

Meanwhile, here’s a snapshot for Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, and Tulare Counties (note that some numbers may have changed between the interview and publication):

As of Jan. 14:

  • 2,483 total deaths out of 255,689 total cases
  • 1,490 people hospitalized and 253 in ICUs
  • 292 deaths in the last week*
  • 3,162 average cases reported daily in last week
  • *this includes a data update from Fresno County after a 10-day hiatus; it’s likely many of these deaths occurred in weeks prior

As of 1 week previous, Jan. 7:

As of 4 weeks previous, Dec. 17:

You can always find up-to-date information for your county here.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.
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