In case you missed it, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced on July 16 in All-Facilities Letter 20-26.9 that the statewide space waiver for hospitals, which was set to expire July 17, has been extended until Sept. 30.
The waiver suspends all statutory and regulatory provisions related to the configuration and use of physical space and classification of beds in a hospital. In short, it allows hospitals to use space and beds as they need to for patient care, without prior approval from CDPH. Other provisions of the statewide waiver in AFL 20-26.8, unrelated to space, are not included. This waiver only pertains to space.
Subsequently, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development provided notice to hospitals on July 19 that instead of Sept. 1 (six weeks after July 17), hospitals now have until Nov. 11 (six weeks after Sept. 30) to restore any temporary changes of use or modification to original condition.
This announcement comes in the midst of an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. CHA data show COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased almost every day since June 19, to more than 2,300 statewide on July 20. Hospitalization volume now stands about where things were in late March. Statewide, average daily new cases now top 2,600 — a 129% increase from mid-June.