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Southern California Runs Out Of ICU Beds

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Southern California has intensive care unit bed capacity reached 0% amid a surge of coronavirus cases, according to a Thursday report from the Los Angeles Times.

The area, which encompasses Los Angeles County, has begun moving patients out of intensive care units (ICU) and local hospitals are keeping certain patients in the emergency room for longer than normal, the Times reported. However, the situation is set to boil over if hospital capacity exceeds 20%, the local outlet wrote.

“If the numbers continue to increase the way they have, I am afraid that we may run out of capacity within our hospitals,” associate medical director with the L.A. County emergency medical services agency Dr. Denise Whitfield told the Times. “And the level of care that every resident in Los Angeles County deserves may be threatened just by the fact that we are overwhelmed.”

Los Angeles has roughly 1,000 ICU-bound COVID-19 patients, which is reportedly four-times the number recorded in early November, according to the Times. That number could jump to as many as 3,600 by January, the outlet reported, citing disease forecasters.

“There are simply not enough trained staff to care for the volume of patients that are projected to come and need care,” the county’s director of health services Dr. Christina Ghaly told the local outlet. “Our hospitals are under siege, and our model shows no end in sight.”

California has roughly 1,723,000 COVID-19 cases with nearly 22,000 deaths, according to a Thursday report from a state webpage.

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom on Dec. 3 issued a mandatory stay-at-home order for residents that live in jurisdictions where ICU bed capacity falls below 15%, a separate state report revealed. The confinement mandate extends for three weeks and can only be lifted if intensive care vacancies exceed the 15% benchmark, the government page wrote.

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