These 10 Inland Empire medical workers are on front lines of coronavirus fight – The Press-Enterprise

At Inland Empire hospitals, the struggle against the novel coronavirus pandemic is up close and personal. Doctors, nurses, medical assistants, cleaning staff, engineers retrofitting facilities to hold the virus in patients’ rooms and more are working to stop a disease that’s already killed more than 74,000 people in the United States. As the coronavirus pandemic began in the United States, nurse Lauren Baca guessed her floor of Hemet Global Medical Center would end up being the COVID-19 quarantine floor. Hospital workers spent a day converting the floor. Each room got its own antechamber to allow staff to put on or remove protective gear while treating COVID-19 patients. And the new ventilation system is loud. “We do have to sort of yell at the patients so they can hear at us and they have to yell at us back,” said Baca, 33. Like many in her field, the San Jacinto resident hopes the public stays the course with social distancing and other measures to slow the coronavirus’s spread. “I know it sucks. Believe me, I’m one of these people who would love to go and get a haircut. I’m about to cut it off myself,” Baca said. “In New York, they literally can’t give people the care they want to, because they’re so overwhelmed. I don’t want us to get to that point.” Menifee resident Dr. John Carvalho avoids leaving his house, other than going to work on the COVID-19 quarantine floor at Hemet Global Medical Center. “We’ve all had to adapt to being a thousand times more conscious about what kind of environment we’re in, what condition our gowns are in, how we’re taking them on and off,” said Carvalho, 34, one of the resident physicians on the floor. “It almost becomes a caricature of how we were trained.” He wears N95 respirator masks, along with goggles, a plastic face shield, a surgical cap and waterproof shoes. Despite all that, Carvalho limits how much time he spends in public, even when getting groceries or meals. “I can’t ever know fully how much I would be exposing other people,” he said. “We try to make one trip a week or less, order things ahead of time to just pick up or just get it delivered.”

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Negative Pressure Rooms Help Combat Coronavirus – Spectrum News One

Serena Barrera is a registered nurse at KPC Health Orange County Global Medical Center, which is a 282-bed hospital in Santa Ana. KPC nurses have been treating COVID-19 cases since early March, and she says that while the threat of the virus is invisible, the effects are anything but. “You know, you go out and you see people who don’t have a mask or don’t take it seriously. They think it’s a joke because they don’t understand. But it’s serious,” says Barrera. The hospital is treating its COVID-19 patients in negative pressure rooms, which act as a giant vacuum. Each of these environmental containment units maintains a negative pressure by sending more air out than the room takes in. Kyle Houraney is the Orange County Operational Area Incident Commander for KPC Health, which spent millions to roll out assets. The hospital has over 60 COVID-19 beds and plans to double that number. With the hospital now performing electives surgeries again, and Orange County having one of the highest numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases in the state, it’s essential for this hospital, that has served the community since 1902, to stay ready. “The sense is, the COVID patients, the increase that we’re seeing in Orange County, by no means are we out of the woods yet. That’s where we’re at in our command center. So right now just because we have set-up this equipment – we’re still preparing for the worst,” Houraney says. The room itself is sealed off. Anyone going in or out like Barrera wears a full set of personal protective equipment and enters in a warm zone before walking into the COVID-19 hot zone. She is one of nearly three million registered nurses in the United States. But it’s their humanity that can’t be forgotten their choice to put patients before family. “That part’s stressful for everybody. Because you don’t want to give it to your family. Everybody’s worried about catching it on the outside, but they don’t think about all the workers that are here, all the nurses that are here all day long,” Barrera says.
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KPC Health to Reopen 4 OC Hospitals

Dr. John Heydt

KPC Health to Reopen 4 OC Hospitals – OC Business Journal


Santa Ana-based KPC Health said it plans to open its seven Southern California hospitals, which include four local facilities in Orange, Santa Ana and Anaheim. The four produced a combined $367 million in annual net patient revenue for the year ending in September. “Like many hospitals, we have observed a significant decline in patients coming in for common health issues,” during the coronavirus pandemic, said Dr. John Heydt, KPC Health chief clinical officer, in a statement. Opening the hospitals, he suggested, will mean patients can begin to return for healthcare treatment generally; the statement noted the move is in line with state and federal reopening guidelines and regulations. KPC Health’s three other hospitals are in Hemet, Victorville and Menifee. Its system includes other facilities. The health system is part of Riverside-based KPC Group.


‘A second life’: Anaheim 62-year-old recovers from COVID-19 after being on ventilator in medically induced coma

‘A second life’: Anaheim 62-year-old recovers from COVID-19 after being on ventilator in medically induced coma – KTLA 5


A 62-year-old Anaheim man was discharged from the hospital Monday after recovering from COVID-19. Donning his protective face mask, Tien Tran was wheeled out of Anaheim Global Medical Center, surrounded by cheering nurses and doctors. Tran had been on a ventilator and put into a medically induced coma for 16 days as he underwent treatment for the deadly respiratory illness. Against the odds, Tran recovered. “A second life. Like somebody just granted me a second life,” he said outside the hospital Monday. Tran was treated with Hydroxychloroquine along with other medications, Dr. George Girgis of Anaheim Global Medical Center told KTLA. The drug, typically used to treat malaria, has received attention after some studies pointed to it as a potential treatment for COVID-19 and it was touted by President Donald Trump during a White House news briefing.



Hemet’s Western Science Center makes mask clips for hospitals battling coronavirus

Hemet’s Western Science Center makes mask clips for hospitals battling coronavirus – The Press-Enterprise


When Hemet’s Western Science Center closed its doors March 14 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the science didn’t stop. It just changed directions. The museum has four 3D printers, normally used to print exhibits, like prehistoric teeth and bones. But right now, it’s got another job. Like many other Californians, the museum staff is working from home and watching and reading the news about the battle against novel coronavirus. “One of the things we saw were medical staff wearing masks 13, 14, 16 hours a day and getting their ears rubbed raw,” said Alton Dooley, the museum’s executive director. A staff member saw that a 3D printing manufacturer had released a free model of a face mask buckle to make surgical masks more comfortable to wear for prolonged periods. “We offered them out to the Hemet hospital and see if they were interested,” Dooley said. Hemet Global Medical Center officials said they were, and the museum has provided 50 of the clips so far. Although the hospital group has managed its supplies “extremely well,” according to hospital spokesman Jeff Corless, donations from various community organizations and individuals have been appreciated. That includes the clips printed at the Western Science Center.



Hemet Global Medical Center drive-thru opens for COVID-19 physician-prescribed testing

Hemet Global Medical Center drive-thru opens for COVID-19 physician-prescribed testing – Valley News


Hemet Global Medical Center in Hemet became the first private drive-thru COVID-19 coronavirus testing center in Riverside County, bringing four drive-thru testing sites to the county since the pandemic began. The Hemet center made the announcement Tuesday, March 31, and is now open to doctor-referred patients Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. As of April 3, Riverside County had four drive-thru testing centers. With limited testing kits available in the county, only those showing symptoms of COVID-19 and the elderly with underlying health conditions are being accepted for testing at the sites.

Keith Garrison, a representative from Hemet Global Medical Center, said on public media that the center was open in the Hemet and San Jacinto valley because of its large senior population, who are most prone to the infection. He said the center testing site will be closer to the seniors who may have difficulty finding transportation to other sites. “We are taking every possible measure to safeguard patients and staff, while continuing to provide the community with critical health care services they depend on,” Dr. Sumanta Chaudhuri, chief medical officer of Hemet Global Medical Center, said. “The dedication, talent and selflessness I am witnessing from our physicians and nurses gives me great confidence in our ability to overcome this challenge.” The testing process takes about 10 minutes, consisting of a nose swab by a health worker. The test results are sent to a local laboratory and made available with two to three days with the patient and doctor notified.

The Hemet Global testing hotline is (951) 765-4757; call from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The testing center is located at 1117 E. Devonshire Ave. with the drive-thru testing entrance located off North Weston Place, between East Devonshire Avenue and East Date Street.



At least 70 people infected with coronavirus linked to a single church in California, health officials say

At least 70 people infected with coronavirus linked to a single church in California, health officials say – CNN

A large and influential Russian language church near Sacramento, California, is denying it is at the center of a novel coronavirus outbreak. 

In an interview with a Sacramento television station on Thursday, Sacramento County Department of Health Services director Dr. Peter Beilenson confirmed at least 70 people at the Bethany Slavic Missionary Church were infected with Covid-19. He said he named the church “not to cast aspersions on anybody but to really hammer home the importance of not congregating, not only in church but also in prayer gatherings in people’s homes.”

It is one of the largest outbreak clusters of the virus in the US. In an archived version of last Sunday’s online service, a pastor announced at least three members of the church were infected with Covid-19. However, the church released a statement Friday saying media reports about the Covid-19 outbreak were “inaccurate and falsely place emphasis on this church.” The church also said it hadn’t been informed any of its parishioners had died as reported by a local newspaper.




Over 70,000 have registered for the California Health Corps, but little is known how it will operate

Over 70,000 have registered for the California Health Corps, but little is known how it will operate

– KTLA 5

As tens of thousands of retired health care workers and medical and nursing students sign up for the newly established California Health Corps, almost nothing is known about how it will operate, how much it will cost and whether taxpayers will be liable for any malpractice.

Gov. Gavin Newsom established the corps to staff the 66,000 additional hospital rooms he said could be needed when the coronavirus outbreak peaks in California in mid-May. Within three days sign-ups topped 70,000, more than twice the estimated pool of people in the state who retired within the last five years and have active health care profession licenses.

And state officials couldn’t even estimate how many more nursing and medical students have volunteered.

So far, state officials have been unable to answer basic questions about the program’s operations and backtracked in their response to how the state will protect itself from legal liability. While participants will be paid and provided with malpractice insurance, the California Emergency Medical Services Authority said the state “has elected to be self-insured for liability exposures” and “malpractice insurance will not need to be procured.”

That’s another way of saying taxpayers could be on the hook if an inexperienced or retired medical worker does something wrong, although the volunteers will have limited immunity from liability because they are considered disaster service workers under state law. State officials haven’t said how much volunteers will be paid, how quickly they will be assigned or for how long.


More than 10,000 people in the US have died from coronavirus. And officials say this will be the most challenging week yet

More than 10,000 people in the US have died from coronavirus. And officials say this will be the most challenging week yet

More than 10,000 people in the US have died from coronavirus. And officials say this will be the most challenging week yet – CNN


In just six weeks, the US death toll from coronavirus went from zero to more than 10,000.

That grim milestone was reached Monday, shortly after officials warned this will be the toughest week yet in the pandemic.

Michigan hospitals are three to six days away from running out of critical supplies, the governor said.

Mortuaries in New Orleans are already out of space, and the mayor said she needs help getting more refrigeration. And New York, New Jersey and Detroit will see peaks in hospitalizations and deaths this week, a US Health and Human Services assistant secretary said. But the hardest-hit state, New York, said the number of deaths is not rising as sharply as it has been.

The total death toll in New York state reached 4,758 on Monday, up from 4,159 on Sunday. “While none of this is good news, the flattening — possible flattening of the curve — is better than the increases that we have seen,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.