Fueled by the continued surge in COVID-19 cases, available space continued to dwindle Friday at Los Angeles County hospitals, with health-care professionals imploring the public to take the virus seriously to prevent medical centers from being overrun and unable to care for patients.
“We’re getting crushed. I’m not going to sugarcoat this. We are getting crushed,” said Dr. Brad Spellberg, chief medical officer at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. “For most of the days of the last week, we’ve had zero ICU beds open in the morning, and we have had to scramble, `can we move this patient here,’ `can we move that patient there.’ … We’re already expanding care into areas of the hospital we don’t normally provide that type of care in.
” … And it isn’t just COVID patients,” he said. “It’s car accidents and heart attacks and victims of violence. They need a place to go to receive critical care. We can only react. We cannot stop the spread. We need the public to listen to these mitigation strategies to slow the spread or we will completely run out of beds.”
Spellberg also voiced the frustration felt by health care workers caused by those who deny the severity of the virus and downplay its impact on hospitals.
“The amount of moral courage it takes to run towards the danger makes it very frustrating for our heroes every day to come to our hospitals and care for patients when we see video and hear people not taking the public health strategies seriously,” he said.
His comments came amid a surge of cases that has exploded across the county since November, exacerbated by the Thanksgiving holiday and accompanying gatherings that occurred in spite of warnings against them.
Some 236 more people were hospitalized in Los Angeles County on Friday than on Thursday, with a total of 5,100 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19. That sets a new record for hospitalizations in the county, beating the previous record of 4,864 which was set on Thursday.
Of those hospitalized, 20% are in the ICU, which translates to about 1,020 patients in the ICU.
The 11-county Southern California region’s ICU bed availability still stands at 0%. It first dropped to 0% on Thursday, after being at .5% on Wednesday. On Tuesday, ICU bed availability was 1.7%; on Monday, it was 2.7%; on Saturday, it was 5.3% (no report was provided on ICU availability on Sunday).
The Southern California region covers Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Imperial, Inyo, Mono, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. The region has been under a state-imposed regional stay-at-home lockdown order since Dec. 7 because of the low number of ICU beds available.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles County officials report they have a few ICU beds open and staff available to attend them – 69 beds on Friday, down from 92 beds on Thursday and 102 beds on Wednesday. However, those few beds are not enough to raise the overall availability percentage across the entire Southern California region.
In recent days, county hospitals have been operating near their overall licensed capacity of about 2,500 ICU beds.
Los Angeles County reported 16,504 new COVID-19 cases on Friday. That brings the county to a cumulative total of 596,721 cases since the pandemic began in March.
The county announced 96 more people dead from the coronavirus on Friday, pushing the county’s cumulative death toll to 8,757 people.
West Hollywood saw 16 new cases on Friday for a cumulative total of 1,203 cases. There was one new COVID death in the city, bringing WeHo’s cumulative total to ten deaths.
Below are the daily numbers for areas near West Hollywood:
- Beverly Hills – 23 new cases for a total of 1,321 cases and a total of 14 deaths.
- Culver City – 35 new cases for a total of 978 cases and a total of 38 deaths.
- Hollywood – 41 new cases for a total of 2,711 cases and a total of 22 deaths.
- Melrose neighborhood – 97 new cases for a total of 3,999 cases and a total of 89 deaths.
- Miracle Mile – 4 new cases for a total of 438 cases and a total of 6 deaths.
- Park La Brea – 5 new cases for a total of 272 cases and a total of 1 death.
- Santa Monica – 45 new cases for a total of 2,136 cases and a total of 54 deaths.
For information about the many resources available to West Hollywood residents who have been impacted by COVID-19, CLICK HERE.