LA County Surpasses 500,000 Covid Cases; Hospitals Cancel Elective Surgeries
LA County health officials warn of "catastrophic consequences" after reporting 13,815 new coronavirus cases and 50 new deaths on Friday. The latest grim numbers come weeks after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Where things stand:
LA County's Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said, "We're in uncharted territory at this point. We're seeing daily numbers of cases and hospitalizations that we've not experienced and frankly did not anticipate."
Public Health identified 501,635 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County and a total of 8,199 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Friday's Covid-19 numbers surpassed Thursday's 12,819 COVID-19 cases. The third time within the last six days, daily new cases were over 10,000, officials said.
California's hospitalizations are already at record levels, and the state has seen a roughly 70% increase in ICU admissions in just two weeks, per the AP.
There are 3,624 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized in LA County, and 23% of these people are in the ICU. The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to exceed all-time highs every day since December 1 and has increased nearly every day since November 1.
The number of hospitalized Coivd-19 patients has risen by double in the past 15 days, health officials announced Friday.
Meanwhile, in Long Beach: The Southern California region, which Long Beach is apart of, reported on Friday that intensive care unit bed capacity dropped from 7.7% to 6.2%.
LB Memorial Medical Center has halted some elective surgeries that require ICU admissions, per LBP.
Lakewood Regional and St. Mary Medical Center has not yet made the simuler decisions on elective surgeries.
In Orange County:
🍊: Dr. Carl Schultz, the top official of the Orange County Health Care Agency, is advising hospitals to cease elective surgeries and told the AP that ambulances have been idling for hours to offload patients at hospitals, but Orange County emergency rooms are booked up.
Schultz wrote in a statement that "the health care system in Orange County is now in a crisis resulting from an overwhelming increase in the number of COVID-infected patients."
Jan Emerson-Shea, vice president of the California Hospital Association, told the AP that the biggest issue is not the hospital beds' low capacity, but staff shortages, lack of PPE, and limited Covid-19 testing supplies.