The post-Christmas surge in coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County is worsening significantly. A much-feared scenario that, according to official figures, will lead to more patients in already overwhelmed hospitals and an increase in deaths.
The coming days are expected to be crucial in determining how bad this next surge will be and how much it will affect conditions in hospitals.
On Thursday and Friday LA county reported 18,764 coronavirus cases or 17,827 cases – well above the average of around 14,000 new cases per day last week.
“This is clearly the most recent surge from the winter holidays and New Years – no question about it,” said Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer for the LA County Department of Public Health. “It had gradually started earlier in the week, however [definitely] here for the last day or two. “
New COVID-19 hospital stays have leveled off in the past few days, but overall hospital stays remain high and the intensive care unit system is effectively over-capacity in LA County. The number of people with COVID-19 in LA County’s intensive care units continues to break records, rising to 1,731 on Friday, roughly three times the number from December 1. There are only about 2,000 intensive care beds in LA County and early in the week. About 400 beds in the intensive care unit were occupied by non-COVID patients.
Approximately 1 in 5 coronavirus tests taken daily in Los Angeles County are positive. That’s a huge increase from November, when only about 1 in 25 tests confirmed infection. And when community broadcast is so productive, officials warn that activities that seemed mundane months ago are now happening a higher risk of infection than ever.
Simon said it will likely continue for the next week or two, leading to even worse hospital stays and more deaths. The number of daily COVID-19 deaths is already breaking records. In early December, an average of 30 people in LA County died from COVID-19 every day over a seven-day period. Currently, an average of 190 people die from COVID-19 every day.
“I think it’s a public health crisis at this point,” said Simon. Hospitals “are extremely tense, extremely overwhelmed.”
The number of people dying from COVID-19 every day now exceeds the average LA County’s deaths from all other causes including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, car accidents, suicides, and homicides, the equivalent of about 170 deaths per day .
318 COVID-19 deaths were reported in LA County as of Friday – the largest single-day record ever recorded. This broke the previous one-day record of 291 on New Year’s Eve.
Friday was the worst day yet for COVID-19 deaths in California as well as Los Angeles County.
According to a Times poll of health officials, 676 deaths were reported in the state on Friday, including 318 in Los Angeles County. The numbers slightly beat the previous daily records: 575 deaths in California and 291 in LA County, both as of December 31st.
“We assume that the number of Hospital stays and deaths will remain high this month due to the events over the holiday, ”Simon said. “We’re going to have high levels of hospitalization and, unfortunately, deaths over the next two to four weeks.”
What’s particularly scary about the coronavirus, Simon said, is how unpredictable it can be who it hits hard. Although only 7% of COVID-19 deaths in LA County earlier in the pandemic were among people with no underlying disease, now 14% of all deaths have occurred in people with no underlying disease.
“I personally know someone who is in their late 30s and got very sick,” said Simon. “Everyone needs to realize that this virus has the potential to wreak tremendous havoc and damage in the body,” said Simon.
In preparation for more deaths, the governor’s emergency services office has prepared for it shipping 88 refrigerated trailers across the state that can serve as temporary morgues. Ten have already been designated for the counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Imperial, Monterey and Sonoma.
Overcrowded with hospital morgue and overwhelmed funeral directors The LA County coroner’s office is being forced to turn away families and is speeding up efforts to temporarily hold bodies.
Six California National Guard men and women arrived Monday to help county workers load bodies from morgues into one of 12 LA County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner’s cold stores, said Sarah Ardalani, a spokeswoman for the office of the Coroner. More members of the National Guard are expected to arrive next week.
The head of a trade group representing California hospitals said Friday that the peak of the current wave is expected to inundate the state’s healthcare system in about a week.
Although hospitals across the state are already grappling with record numbers of COVID-19 patients, “we anticipate the worst will happen in another week or 10 days, and possibly last into February,” Carmela said Coyle. President and CEO of California Hospital Assn.
“This was unprecedented for our state, unprecedented for the nation, unprecedented for the world,” she said during a conference call. “But we’re at a point today in terms of numbers where we’re standing on a beach watching a tsunami.”
Officials said the expected spike made all the more reason for people to stay home as much as possible now, even though people may feel exhausted from constantly hearing requests not to go out and socialize in person, which is what the officials said Transmission of the highly contagious virus.
Simon said that one of these symptoms requires emergency medical care, such as: For example, a call to 911 or a call in advance to let the operator know that you are caring for these conditions or that you are caring for someone with these conditions.
• Difficulty breathing
• Bluish lips or face
• Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
• Emerging confusion
• Inability to wake up or stay awake
“It’s also vital not to wait until you’re sick to find a regular source of health care. If you don’t have a regular healthcare provider, get one today, ”said Simon.
“The chances are just too good at this moment that you are exposed to COVID-19. And if so, you need a doctor, a nurse to alert and discuss your symptoms or options and care options, ”said Simon.
For those who do not have a health care provider, LA County residents can call 211 for more information.