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Fight For Hospital Bed: Woman Says Kaiser Is Trying To Release 90-Year-Old Coronavirus Patient

MODESTO (CBS13) — A Stanislaus County woman is fighting to keep her mom in the hospital at Kaiser in Modesto. She claims they're trying to release her even though she's still sick.

"The fact that she is 90, COVID-positive, and has liver cancer isn't their problem, apparently, right now the fact that she is not requiring oxygen," said Denise Reyes.

Reyes is now putting up a fight she feels she shouldn't have to. Her mom, who is 90 years old and has dementia, is in the hospital fighting COVID-19. She's now able to breathe on her own and Reyes claims the hospital wants to release her even though she is still positive.

Reyes feels her mom isn't ready and shouldn't be able to leave given the only place she has to go is the care facility where she got sick.

"Her doctor told me that they are impacted and they are overwhelmed right now," Reyes explained.

Stanislaus County has quickly become a coronavirus hotspot. Reyes wonders if the numbers have an impact on why her mom is being discharged.

In just two weeks, an additional 106 people have been sent to the hospital. That's a 166% increase. The number of ICU patients is also going up fast in the county, leading to a 105% increase. ICU bed availability now just 39%.

"I can only imagine that that's the reason," she said.

As the numbers get worse, Reyes prays her mom's health doesn't too, left with nowhere to turn.

"There is no option for her because the hospitals don't want to keep her and it's wrong," she explained.

Corwin Harper, the senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser Permanente in the Central Valley, issued the following statement in response to Reyes' story Wednesday.

"Kaiser Permanente's top priority continues to be the safety of our patients and staff. Our clinical teams carefully evaluate a patient's readiness for discharge to ensure their health and welfare, and create safe discharge plans for patients who no longer need acute hospital care. In some cases this involves returning to facilities with separate COVID-19 units to protect patients and staff.  We also follow guidelines established by the CDC, California Department of Public Health, County Public Health Departments, and other agencies regarding the discharge of COVID-19 patients.

We recognize that COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation and we are committed to keeping our members, staff and communities as safe as possible. Because of patient privacy laws we cannot provide information about an individual patient."

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