With COVID-19 cases exploding across Los Angeles County, officials believe hospitals will be hit by a wave of patients in the coming weeks much larger than even the most dire forecasts and pushing the region’s medical infrastructure to the brink.
There are nearly 1,000 people with COVID-19 in L.A. County’s intensive care units as of Tuesday; forecasts say that by early January, there could be between 1,600 to 3,600 COVID-19 patients in need of ICU beds if virus transmission trends remain the same. There are only 2,500 licensed ICU beds in L.A. County.
“There are simply not enough trained staff to care for the volume of patients that are projected to come and need care,” said Dr. Christina Ghaly, the county’s director of health services. “Our hospitals are under siege, and our model shows no end in sight.”
Hospitals in L.A. County are filling up as never before. For much of September and October, about 100 patients a day with COVID-19 were being newly admitted into hospitals in L.A. County daily. Just before, Thanksgiving, nearly 300 new patients a day were being admitted.
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