California’s hospitals thought they were ready for the next big disaster.
They’ve retrofitted their buildings to withstand a major earthquake and whisked patients out of danger during deadly wildfires. They’ve kept patients alive with backup generators amid sweeping power shutoffs and trained their staff to thwart would-be shooters.
But nothing has prepared them for a crisis of the magnitude facing hospitals today.
“We’re in a battle with an unseen enemy, and we have to be fully mobilized in a way that’s never been seen in our careers,” said Dr. Stephen Parodi, an infectious disease expert for Kaiser Permanente in California. (Kaiser Health News, which produces California Healthline, is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.)
As California enters the most critical period in the state’s battle against COVID-19, the state’s 416 hospitals — big and small, public and private — are