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Hospital staffing an emerging concern in Kern's COVID-19 effort


Dignity Health Mercy Hospital Southwest.

As local hospitals become more impacted by coronavirus patients, a new concern has come to light. The question is no longer will there be enough beds to care for all the sick as COVID-19 cases escalate, but will there be enough hospital staff to tend to those beds?

For a 12-hour period this past weekend, ambulance traffic had to be diverted away from Dignity Health’s Mercy Hospital Downtown and Mercy Hospital Southwest. The two facilities reached a point where they couldn’t take any more patients due to staffing, said Kern County Public Health Services Director Matt Constantine.

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