Hospital bed availability distorted by State of California

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As we reported December 18th, hospitals in several states are manipulating bed availability data in order to make hospital beds look almost unavailable. Michigan was caught erasing six-thousand beds from its census, while California changed ICU data to reflect a zero percent ICU bed availability.

These tactics are elusive and not reported with the importance they deserve via the mainstream media, and they’re most likely employed in various states across the county. As all states were later found to perpetrate the Collin, County, Texas case reporting mechanisms, after that story first broke, readers can assume these aren’t the only two.

California posted its policy explaining why it lowers the available ICU bed percentage at will, explaining that it’s part of the Regional Stay at Home Order.

State of CA COVID dashboard

The state of California explains on its website that “the total number of adult ICU beds is calculated by removing neonatal ICU beds (NICU) and pediatric intensive care unit beds (PICU) as well as standardizing current adult ICU capacity. Consistent with the goal of the Regional Stay Home Order, this calculation ensures that sufficient ICU bed capacity is available for COVID and non-COVID related conditions. As of December 4, 2020 the ICU capacity is calculated as described above.”

What does that even mean? Mercury News reached out to the state of California, which provided exactly the above explanation of their calculations. Additionally, the publication discovered,

“CDPH says it calculates the adjusted ICU capacity based on the proportion of ICU patients who have COVID-19. ‘If a region is utilizing more than 30% of its ICU beds for COVID-19 positive patients, then its available ICU capacity is adjusted downward by 0.5% for each 1% over the 30% threshold,’ according to the CDPH office of public affairs. So that mind-bending formula explains how the state has 0% capacity with more than 1,300 ICU beds still available…”

“CDPH said it adjusts the capacity measure ‘to preserve the capacity of the ICU to also treat non-COVID-19 conditions.’”

So if a region’s ICU bed capacity is 10% for example, it’s 20% above the threshold. Adjusting downward by the state’s calculations, the capacity they report to the public is (0.5 X 20) -actual capacity (10)=0%. Even though a region’s actual ICU capacity is 10%, readers wake up to the headline, “Region’s ICU capacity is Zero Percent!”

Governor Newsome declared in his December 3rd order that unless ICU bed capacity is above 15%, lockdowns continue. This week, they were extended indefinitely for most of Southern California. So Newsome is locking down the state based on the new goalpost, ICU beds, which the state changes at will to make the beds appear less available than they actually are.

First, readers learned, cases were over-reported, then deaths, then hospitalizations. Now, ICU bed capacity is over-reported. As part of the Regional Stay at Home Orders, it’s for your safety. COVID data can be tricky that way.

The Colorado Herald