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Sharp Healthcare's new tower came at a critical time to save lives during the pandemic

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Posted at 10:03 AM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 21:18:00-05

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - A new Chula Vista hospital tower was critical to care for the community during the pandemic.

Last January, Sharp Healthcare's Ocean View Tower opened and just two months later they had their first coronavirus positive patient, according to the hospital.

During the pandemic, "routinely have more than 300 patients in the hospital, which means that without the tower, we would not be able to adequately take care of this community." The hospital said in a statement to ABC 10News.

The tower provides an extra 106 beds.

"Especially these days, every bed counts. It makes a big difference right now," Lead Nurse at Sharp Chula Vista Alfonso Valdez said.

The South Bay includes the hardest hit regions in the county.

Many patients are Latinos who have been disproportionately impacted by the virus.

The county reports 57% of positive cases in the county are Latinos, who make up only 34% of the population.

Sharp has discharged more than 1,500 COVID-19 patients who are recovering at home since the pandemic started.

"I just want the community to know we are here for them but we really want them to take care of themselves and we really want them to follow those protocols of wearing a mask, washing their hands, and staying at home as much as possible," Valdez said.