Bay Area ICU Bed Availability Jumps to Over 23%

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The Bay Area has finally seen a significant jump in available ICU beds this week, with overall numbers showing availability jumping to over 23% Saturday.

That’s an increase of 20% in just a week.

More available beds in the Bay Area have doctors feeling optimistic. Back on January 11, the ICU availability in the region dropped to less than 1%. Now that it’s over 23%, UCSF Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Peter Chin-Hong said it’s a sign of hope.

“Everything is consistent with moving in the right direction right now, we are five times of what we saw in October instead of nine times like we saw a couple weeks ago,” he said.

The encouraging news comes as many around the Bay Area wonder when the stay-at-home order could be lifted.

On Saturday, three doctors in Contra Costa County sent another letter to the county health officer questioning the shutdown.

The letter read, “During the last month, data continues to accumulate to support our position that lockdowns imposed by Contra Costa County are doing more harm than good. Contra Costa residents are suffering immensely.”

Laura Magu, Rev restaurant owner in Lafayette, agrees.

“My busboy can’t work from home, my servers can’t work from home,” she said. “Provide us some evidence.”

California’s regional order is supposed to be lifted when ICU bed availability is projected to exceed 15% looking four weeks ahead.

Now, the state says the Bay Area doesn’t reach that benchmark, but it also hasn’t provided details of how that projection is calculated.

The opening of new COVID vaccination sites in the Bay Area will also help.

Chin-Hong said he views the latest improvements in ICU numbers with cautious hope.

“My feeling and hope is just like the public schools, I believe businesses will resume in short order,” he said.

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