California Takes Steps to Support Health System During Increase in COVID-19 Hospitalizations

In response to increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide and the presence of the COVID-19 delta variant, the State of California this week took steps to ensure health care facilities throughout the state remain adequately staffed and continue to deliver critical patient care.

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón issued a public health order requiring hospitals statewide to accept transfer patients from facilities with limited ICU capacity when clinically appropriate. Under the order, hospitals must notify the Medical and Health Operational Area Coordinator (MHOAC), local public health officer, and the CDPH Licensing and Certification district office when specified conditions exist, including having reduced capacity. The order took effect on Thursday this week.

In addition to CDPH’s public health order, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-12-21 extending various provisions implemented to expand California’s health care workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic, including allowing health care workers from out of state to provide services in California and enabling certain medical personnel and emergency medical technicians to continue supporting the state’s COVID-19 response. The order additionally provides health facilities flexibility to plan and adapt their space to accommodate increases in patient loads.

Additional information from the Governor’s Office is available here. Additional information from CDPH is available here.