LA County Hospitals In A Disaster On Christmas Day As COVID-19 Affected person Numbers Spike – CBS Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – With no relief in sight, Los Angeles County hospitals will be in crisis mode on Christmas Day as the number of coronavirus patients admitted continues to rise at an unprecedented rate.
On Thursday, LA County recorded 148 coronavirus deaths, a record for the second day in a row.
According to the latest figures from the California Department of Health on Friday morning, LA County’s 6,708 people were hospitalized for the disease, another record.
19.8% of these were in intensive care units.
Since many families are expected to ignore California’s stay-at-home orders and gather on Christmas Day, and thousands are expected to attend indoor services, these numbers are likely to keep rising. Dr. Christina Ghaly, director of LA County Health Services, said the daily number of COVID patients in hospitals is expected to exceed 7,500 by next week.
“I mean, I’m just screaming, I don’t get it, people don’t understand, they don’t see what we see, and it’s devastating when people without their families get sick,” said Vanessa Orozco, Phlebotomy Lab assistant at CBSLA Thursday .
Ghaly said 96% of the 70 emergency room hospitals in LA County diverted ambulance traffic to other medical facilities at some point in the day due to overcrowding – up from the normal 33% average for that time of year.
About 750 new COVID patients are admitted to hospitals every day, according to Ghaly.
On Thursday morning the 70 “911-receiving” hospitals in the district had a total of 723 available beds and only 63 beds in the intensive care unit – 42 of them for adults and 21 for children.
“Most hospitals do not officially report available ICU beds because they have already exceeded the licensed ICU capacity and the skills of their available staff,” Ghaly said on Wednesday.
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The district has a licensed intensive capacity of around 2,500 beds. According to the LA County’s DHS, hospitals have increased their capacity to operate an average of 2,660 intensive care beds per day over the past week. On average, about 37% of these beds were occupied by coronavirus patients.
The average number of COVID patients in hospitals in the county has increased 547% since Nov. 9. Average daily deaths have increased 467%, from about 12 per day in early November to 69 per day in the last week. The average daily new cases increased by 907%.
The ICU capacity in Southern California is zero.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All rights reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)