Marin County

COVID-19 Vaccine Arrives in Marin County as ICU Beds Reach Capacity

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With hospital beds filling up, health officials in Marin County are sounding the alarm. But just as they warn ICU beds in the county are at capacity, the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived Wednesday.

"I am more concerned than I have ever been in the course of the pandemic," Marin County Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis. "We have more patients in the hospital, more patients in the ICU than ever before. We're seeing more daily cases than ever before."

Willis said with the number of COVID-19 cases surging, the county's three hospitals are struggling to keep up. Their normal number of ICU beds are strained, so they are expanding into surge mode.

"Our capacity for normal beds for normal operating procedure is at 0%," Willis said.

As hospitals adjust staffing to keep up with the surge, a bright development took place Wednesday morning with the first shipment of vaccines arriving in Marin County. Hours later the first two frontline workers received the vaccine -- a Kaiser emergency room nurse and an emergency room housekeeper.

"It is really the light we need so much now," Willis said. "It's really the first hole we've had in a long time."

Health officials said the danger is by no means over. They are urging everyone to avoid large gatherings over the holiday.

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