ICU bed availability for the Southern California region fell to ultra dangerous levels on Tuesday while Los Angeles County reported another day of record-breaking hospitalizations.
Some 200 more people were hospitalized on Tuesday than on Monday, with a total of 4,403 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19. That 4,403 people hospitalized is a new record for the county, beating the previous record of 4,203 which was set on Monday. Of those hospitalized, 21% are in the ICU.
In the past month, the number of people hospitalized has increased 334%. On Nov. 15, there were 1,014 people hospitalized, compared to 4,403 on Dec. 15. The county has set a new record for number of hospitalizations every day since Dec. 1.
The 11-county Southern California region’s ICU bed availability now stands at 1.7%, down from 2.7% on Monday. The ICU bed availability rate has been steadily decreasing in the past week. The health department did not announce the ICU availability on Sunday, but on Saturday, it was 5.3%, down from 6.2% on Friday. On Thursday it was 7.7%, and on Wednesday, it was 9%.
Despite the increase in patient numbers, the LA County Department of Health Services on Tuesday actually reported a slight rise in available ICU beds in the county (versus for the 11-county Southern California region). Health officials reported there were 115 ICU beds available on Tuesday, up from 95 on Monday. That number can fluctuate rapidly based on patient movement and available staffing. A bed is only considered “available” if there is staffing on hand to treat a patient.
Gov. Gavin Newsom noted Tuesday that the strain on hospital staffing across California prompted the state to temporarily lower the staffing requirements in ICU units, from the normal one staffer for every two patients, down to one staffer for every three patients. The state also amended its quarantine requirements for health care workers exposed to COVID, lowering the mandate to just seven days, assuming the worker tests negative for the virus on day five or later of the quarantine.
Los Angeles County reported 11,194 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. That brings the county to a cumulative total of 543,769 cases since the pandemic began in March. For comparison, on Nov. 15, the county had 3,061 new cases.
The county announced 86 more people dead from the coronavirus on Tuesday, pushing the county’s cumulative death toll to 8,431 people. For comparison, on Nov. 15, there were three COVID deaths reported.
West Hollywood saw 14 new cases on Tuesday for a cumulative total of 1,145 cases. There were no new deaths from COVID in the city. WeHo’s cumulative death toll remains at nine deaths.
Below are the daily numbers for areas near West Hollywood:
- Beverly Hills – 26 new cases for a total of 1,252 cases.
- Culver City – 30 new cases for a total of 889 cases.
- Hollywood – 42 new cases for a total of 2,505 cases.
- Melrose neighborhood – 81 new cases for a total of 3,637 cases.
- Miracle Mile – 13 new cases for a total of 395 cases.
- Park La Brea – 4 new cases for a total of 257 cases.
- Santa Monica – 42 new cases for a total of 1,980 cases.
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