Southern California ICU capacity falls amidst COVID-19 boom

Intensive care unit beds are falling to significant levels in Southern California, with 1% capacity in Ventura County and 0% in Riverside County, while Los Angeles County – for 10 million people – had fewer than 100 beds available.

Experts say this is the worst case scenario. LA County has more than 4,400 people hospitalized with COVID-19, and officials said the number could rise to 5,000 by the weekend.

The shortage continues across the state. The Los Angeles Times County-by-County Tally performed an unprecedented 42,129 cases on Monday. This number breaks the single-day record set on 8 December, when 35,400 coronovirus cases were recorded.

“Our reality is horrifying at the moment,” said LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

In LA County, COVID-19 hospitals are now six times larger than they were in mid-October. On Sunday, 935 coronavirus patients in LA County were in limited supply of intensive care unit beds – more than quadrupled in number from November 1.

In Ventura County, Health Officer Drs. Robert Levine expressed disappointment at those involved with parties, indoor church services and youth sporting events, which are currently banned due to an extraordinary public health crisis.

“The numbers are becoming astronomical. Levine said on Monday that people were going to die.

In Southern California, available ICU capacity fell from 4.2% a day earlier to 2.7% on Monday. In the San Joaquin Valley, this again dropped to 0%, meaning that critically ill patients should be placed in areas of hospitals not typically designed to care for ICU patients, leading to mortality May increase.

California Regional ICU Capacity

“Many people may be thinking that this is nothing to be really worried about because hospitals can just add more beds. The reality is that every bed needs to be staffed by highly trained and skilled healthcare workers, and we do not have an endless supply of healthcare workers, and those who are saving lives here every day are exhausted, ”said Ferrer. said.

He said, “And they are disappointed in the reality that it is not.” The best thing that everyone can do right now is stay home as much as possible, and only for work, school, exercise or services or services Go out.”

Dr. of La County Christina Gali said that LA County is so bothered by COVID-19 patients for some time on Sunday that 81% of hospitals coming in from 911 calls are temporarily forced to divert some ambulance patients. Was lying. Of health services.

Ghuli said that officials are ready to be admitted to the hospital because those infected with Thanksgiving become so ill that they need to be admitted. Ghee said LA County has about 500 new daily COVID-19 hospital admissions, and that number could exceed 700 a week.

“We have to convince ourselves that this [hospital] The volume of the case has not yet reached a peak and will continue to increase, ”said Gali.

Ambulances in hospitals wait five hours to unload patients

Orange County reported last week that La County is also experiencing various delays in unloading patients from ambulances in hospitals.

California's new coronovirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants by region

“We know that in some hospitals across the county, there is a longer ambulance patient offload time that often exceeds four hours, five hours,” Gali said.

As of Monday, La County averaged about 10,700 new coronovirus cases a day in the past week and 58 new COVID-19 deaths a day – both in or near records.

Ferrer said he hoped to reduce the number of new coronovirus cases around Christmas.

Whether that happens depends on whether Angelino “is actually following this new ‘Sefer at Home’ order,” Ferrer said.

Younger adults are spreading the virus the most, Ferrer said, but it is the oldest adult, when they are infected, who are dying at the highest rates.

“And it’s a preventable tragedy, because the most serious disease that comes with COVID-19 can be saved from everyone,” Ferrer said, “when we cover our face, our Maintain distance, wash hands frequently and avoid sexual intercourse with non. Household members. “

Health officials worry about disobeying health orders

There are concerns about disobeying orders. After LA County ordered a ban on outdoor restaurant dining, the city of Manhattan Beach implemented a plan to allow the newly constructed outdoor dining areas to continue to be used as public seating, where people can sit and dine . L.A. County Health Officer, Drs. Mantu Davis called the city “refraining from maintaining a workaround for temporary use of outdoor food”.

Davis wrote, “Having the tables and chairs adjacent to the restaurant is both violating the city of Manhattan Beach and defying the purpose of the county’s order and not protecting public health.” Davis wrote that the chairs in the newly designated outdoor areas match the restaurant’s stock tables and chairs and are not owned by the city.

Davis wrote that the coronavirus case rate in Manhattan Beach has tripled since mid-September.

A couple dined at an outdoor table along Manhattan Beach Boulevard in Manhattan Beach.

A couple enjoy a meal with Manhattan Beach Boulevard in Manhattan Beach on December 4.

(Valley Scalise / Los Angeles Times)

In Ventura County, Health Officer Levine sounded the alarm at the COVID-19 hospital, breaking records for 10 consecutive days. On Sunday, 181 coronovirus-infected people at the county’s hospitals were 72% above the peak of the July increase.

Two weeks ago, some 80 football players gathered in a park in Simi Valley; Sports tournaments are taking place in volleyball and other counties involving baseball players, and in those situations, people were not wearing masks, Levine said. Some church services continue to be held indoors, with audience members sometimes sitting shoulder to shoulder, violating rules requiring church services to be held online or outside.

‘These are not just old people who are sick and dying’

There was a report of thousands of masked people, where thousands sang Christmas carols, many without masks, Levine said. And he has heard of more than 200 people and residents still getting out of their cars.

Singing is an extremely high-risk activity and has been documented to spread coronavirus. A choir infected dozens of coronoviruses and killed two people in Washington state.

“What makes sense about this?” Levin said at a press conference. “None of these justifications are acceptable in the face of an epidemic.” We all need to work together, like we would be fighting a war.

“It is inconceivable to me. This is baffling. It is also irresponsible, ”Levin said. “COVID is so intense in our county that 1 out of every 10 COVID tests we run are positive.

“It’s so easy nowadays to run into someone with COVID and don’t know you’re being exposed,” he said. There are now 49 outbreaks at long-term care facilities in Ventura County.

Levine said that one of his daughters works in a hospital in Sacramento. “He said to me, ‘Daddy, I look around the hospital: These are not just old people who are sick and dying. They are young like me.’ It’s heartbreaking. And that’s right.”

‘We have to tell the family … that their loved ones are not coming home’

One of the long-term consequences of infecting some young people is the so-called ‘long-haler’ syndrome, in which survivors may suffer from persistent shortness of breath and “clouded head” – an ongoing cloud of confusion that persists for months. May, Levine said.

“Some of these people were joggers. We don’t know if it’s going to be permanent, “Levin said. “If we all work together, it has come together. I mean by spirituality, spiritually, that is – for just three or four weeks, our infections will go away. They will sink. And our Businesses can open. ”

The physician of an intensive care unit of Ventura County Medical Center, Drs. Mark Lepore said he expected the Ventura County Hospital to be over capacity, “and that what is over capacity is showing in the hospital and there is no place to go or not.” A staff member to take care of you. ”

Lepore said, “The hardest part about caring for COVID … is the lack of families that they are able to see their loved ones and it’s terrible to see.” “How slow and insidious that it hits the body. You have symptoms for the first eight or so days, and then you do not recover. “

Perhaps the fever subsides, but shortness of breath may last. “We had to tell family members that their loved ones are not coming home, and it’s terrible,” Lepore said.

Lepore urged people to avoid gathering for Christmas: “Just tell them you’ll see them next Christmas. It’s important: We don’t want your family members to be sick and not able to care.”

Governor deferred stay order

Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Monday that there are some preliminary indications that the order to stay indoors to stay new – under the influence of most of the state for a week – was beginning to work to ease the movement of Californians.

“Time is buying us,” Newsom said.

The governor remarked the same day that healthcare workers in Hollywood were the first in California to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Although the news was greeted with optimism, the vaccine arrives too late to prevent infection in people exposed to the virus during the vaccination holiday.

Amid complaints about the economic burden of the stay-at-home order, Newsom and other officials have defended it as a prudent way to protect lives and once the vaccine has been widely distributed.

“As soon as this epidemic is behind us, this state will become more resilient, more vibrant than ever,” Newsome said on Monday. “And so the most important thing we can do, from an economic point of view, is to focus on public health. Focus on reducing the spread of this virus. “

UCLA economists issued an optimistic forecast last week that predicted that the US economy would experience “a depressed COVID winter and a highly vaccinated spring” after strong growth for a few years.

Newsom and health officials have defended California’s approach to the epidemic as it has saved lives. Of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, California has the 39th highest cumulative number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants and the 39th highest cumulative number of COVID-19 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Times staff writers Sean Green and Margot Roosevelt contributed to this report.

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