Los Angeles County has recorded more than 100,000 new coronaviruses during the past eight days – “the fastest acceleration of new cases than at any other time during the pandemic,” officials said Saturday.
The spike in infection numbers prompted residents’ warnings for weeks to avoid gathering so the hospital system can avoid crushing COVID-19 patients.
Now, with the county case totaling 610,300, the situation is sick.
“Hospital capacity across the county is limited, and health care workers are under severe pressure to keep up with the need for care,” Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials said in a press release.
There was a record number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 on Saturday: 5,424 patients.
This is an increase of more than 300 new patients in one day.
Of the COVID-19 patients hospitalized on Saturday, 21% had respiratory illnesses in intensive care units.
“Every day we witness the terrible suffering caused by a virus that spreads out of control throughout the county,” Los Angeles Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 13,756 new cases of coronavirus and 60 new deaths on Saturday, bringing the number of Covid-19 deaths to 8,817.
“We are now witnessing the consequences of Thanksgiving and we cannot afford another extra holiday,” Health Ministry officials said.
With hospitals already crowded to add more beds, the chief medical officer at LAC + USC Medical Center, Dr. Brad Spielberg, said Friday that Los Angeles County hospitals will not have a place for other emergency patients if the COVID-19 continues to increase.
“I’m not going to wear that coat. We’re crushing,” Spielberg said.
The director of health services, Dr. Christina Ghali, said the district was experiencing a “crisis”, describing the long emptying times of ambulances and full emergency departments.
“This is not only related to a person who needs critical care in the intensive care unit because he cannot breathe, he is literally suffocating with Covid virus,” said Ghali. “When the hospital is crowded, it affects everyone.
“It affects you if you suffer a traumatic injury or fall, if you have a car accident, if you need emergency surgery … this will affect everyone,” she said.
As they have done for months, officials are urging residents of Los Angeles County to stay home.
“Places where people from different families congregate and do not follow safety directives contribute to the spread of unnecessary COVID-19 that leads to hospitalizations and deaths that could have been avoided,” Ferrer said.