The huge difficulties caused by the coronavirus have greatly affected Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center.

The Fontana hospital has a licensed ICU bed capacity of 50, but the ICUs are currently operating at 150 percent capacity due to the recent surge in COVID-19 patients needing care, said Ken Rivers, the chief operating officer at Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center.

"We are caring for an average of more than 240 COVID patients in the hospital over the past two weeks," Rivers said in a statement.

He said the Fontana location is working with other Kaiser Permanente medical centers in Southern California to coordinate timely care of patients.

"In times when our medical center is heavily impacted by a large number of patients, we transfer some of them into our sister hospitals that are less impacted. This ensures that our patients get the appropriate level of high-quality care in a timely manner and allows us to maximize our resources during the pandemic," he said.

"In San Bernardino County, Kaiser Permanente has also partnered with community hospitals to ensure that our patients are able to get to a hospital bed in a timely manner in order for them to get the quality care they expect."

He praised the Kaiser employees who have had to endure numerous hardships.

"Our nurses, physicians, and ancillary hospital staff are amazing, resilient and dedicated to the care of our patients. They are working tirelessly day and night, and are adjusting to the many changes and extraordinary challenges that come with dealing with an ever-evolving pandemic," Rivers said.

To help the employees, Kaiser offers its staff mental health breaks in the COVID-19 units.

"These breaks are staffed with mental health professionals and are in a quiet room with refreshments so that our staff can take some time to unwind," Rivers said. "We also have our mental health professionals available for our staff to schedule a conversation with at their own time."

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