Officials say San Diego is ‘in the eye of the storm’ in fight against coronavirus

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SAN DIEGO — San Diego County officials Saturday said the availability of respirators and the capacity of Intensive Care Unit beds in the county’s fight against the coronavirus has actually grown.

The news came after the number of cases in San Diego County rose to 131 on Friday, an increase of 26 over the previous day.

Dr. Nicholas Yphantides, the county’s chief medical officer, said that when he looked at some data Saturday morning he saw “something pretty remarkable.”

“The availability of ICU beds and the number of respirators that are available has actually grown,” Yphantides said.

The doctor said there were many technological innovations going on at local hospitals, such as tele-consultations and call-in nurses.

He also wanted to remind the public that ventilators do not run themselves. “We are very mindful of our most precious commodity, and that is our health care workers,” Yphantides said.

At a recent town hall forum, he reminded people that doctors and nurses are human, too. “We are really in the eye of the storm right now,” the chief medical officer said. “The hope is that this Category 5 storm can be lessened and become more manageable.”

Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said he wanted to encourage people to rely on trusted sources of information about the health crisis.

The health department will hold another coronavirus briefing on Sunday which will include San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Fletcher.

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