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Surge Tents Return To Scripps Encinitas

Inside the overflow tents put back up outside the Scripps Memorial Hospital E...

Photo by Matthew Bowler

Above: Inside the overflow tents put back up outside the Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas Emergency Room. Aug. 2, 2021.

A rise in hospitalizations made Scripps in Encinitas reinstall surge tents outside their emergency room.

“The tents are back up for a couple of reasons," said Dr. Ghazala Sharieff, the Chief Medical Officer for Scripps Health. "Today we have 101 patients in-house who have active COVID. Nineteen of those are in the intensive care unit right now. We only have six ICU beds available and 37 medical surgical beds, so volume is getting bigger.”

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She said the recent COVID case numbers are raising concerns again. “We only had 13 patients at Scripps before the state mandate was lifted and now we're up to 100. Thirteen patients is not very much and now we're back to where we are again.”

Dr. Sharieff said the growing delta variant cases are making the need for the tents even more urgent.

“For us it's very sad to see these tents going back up again, when this is all preventable. Had we gotten the vaccines and the herd immunity up, we wouldn't have this delta variant that is now looming in front of us,” she said. “And there's going to be more variants that come, unless we can get that vaccination rate up."

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She fears the longer people delay getting vaccinated, the more COVID-19 variants we will see.

“There’s more every day. A Lambda variant is coming. So these variants are out there. We've had some variants come through before. Unless we can really get to that herd immunity level where you just have a handful of cases transferred off, we're never going to get out of this,” said Dr. Sharieff.

Reported by Tania Thorne

The surge tents will also help with all the overflow of different medical emergencies.

“I think part of that is people have delayed their care at the height of COVID. People are coming in for care now. And so our emergency departments are literally busting at the seams, which means we need to do something and get ahead of this, this time,” said Dr. Sharieff.

She said the only way to get ahead of Delta and any new variants, will be if people get vaccinated and follow safe practices.


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Tania Thorne
North County Reporter

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