Coronavirus hospitalizations are getting worse in California, causing an alarm


The number of people hospitalized with coronavirus infections in California has only doubled in the past two weeks, and the Times analyzes it is rapidly getting past the summer peak.

The surge in hospital care came when California crossed another bleak milestone: The Times aggregated by independent county, more than 19,000 deaths were related to COVID-19.

Hospitals in California had nearly 6,650 coronavirus infections as of Thursday, double the number on November 11 when 3,300 people were hospitalized. Thursday’s hospital numbers accounted for 93% of the COVID-19 peak in hospital care, which was recorded in mid-July when 7,170 people were in hospital.

The extraordinary growth of hospital treatments is accelerating at a steady pace, unprecedented since the first months of the pandemic. In Los Angeles County, the total number of hospital admissions for coronavirus infections jumps by an average of 80 patients per day over a seven-day period – an increase not seen since the earliest weeks of the pandemic.

By Thursday, more than 1,950 people with coronavirus infection had been hospitalized in LA County. This is more than 87% of the worst day of hospitalization in LA County, in mid-July, when more than 2,200 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized.

Los Angeles County health officials have sounded the alarm to see a shortage of beds – especially in the intensive care units – over the next two to four weeks if these trends continue.

If the number of COVID-19 patients continues to grow, “people need to be prepared to possibly interrupt their non-essential surgeries or procedures in order for hospitals to be accommodated,” said Dr. Christina Ghaly, county director of health services, on Wednesday.

While hospitals plan to expand their capacity as needed, Ghaly says the biggest challenge is recruiting staff – especially in intensive care units. There are only so many nurses, doctors, and other staff who are adequately trained to provide ICU-level care.

San Diego County held a record number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients for the sixth consecutive day, with 563 people in its hospitals as of Thursday. This is already a 37% increase over the 411 peak set in the summer.

The Department of San Bernardino broke the all-time record for COVID-19 hospital care at Thanksgiving, with 656 people lying in hospital beds on Thursday – surpassing the previous record of 638 patients reached in July.

Riverside County reported 498 hospital patients on Thursday, ending an all-time record of 550, which was also set in July.

COVID-19 hospital care has doubled in Orange County over the past dozen days. More than 500 coronavirus infected stayed in Orange County hospitals on Thursdays; on November 14, there were nearly 250 such patients. Ventura County was in the same situation: In the coastal county, 81 people were listed in hospitals on Thursday, up from 38 on 14 November.

Other areas of California have also been hit hard. Sacramento County admitted 263 COVID-19 patients to its hospitals on Thursday, close to a record of 281 hospitalizations set in the summer.

In the San Francisco Bay area, Santa Clara County has outpaced the number of hospitalizations in the summer. On Thursday, 230 infected people stayed in their hospitals, up 17% from the previous 196 peak in the summer.

States across the country have also reported a significant increase in COVID-19 hospital care. “Because we made only a partial report today and many states did not submit data, we nevertheless see a startling leap in total Covid hospital care nationwide; reflecting the sharp rise in new infections in recent weeks and the delay between diagnosis and hospitalization, ”said Dr Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, tweeted Thursday.

Epidemiologists are also raising concerns about the growing trend in restaurants to start erecting plastic sheets around their outdoor eateries to protect the eateries from the wind.

Surrounded by a plastic sheet or other airflow blocker around the dining room, it helps the coronavirus float in the basically tent, instead of the wind blowing away tiny respiratory particles. This makes it more likely that other people will inhale larger amounts of the virus and be infected by their restaurant peers.

On Wednesday, government officials issued a reminder that outdoor restaurants can have a canopy or other type of shelter from the sun, but up to 50 percent of the perimeter of the outdoor dining area can be surrounded by waterproof walls.

In California, stringent disease control measures have successfully reduced the rate of infections and the number of daily deaths twice, largely by finding a way to keep people from different households from mixing with each other.

But the epidemic fatigue of recent months is likely to result in more people choosing to ignore recommendations to stay home.

Health officials say they suspect that things like festive celebrations have recently jumped in cases of coronavirus; gatherings to watch the Lakers and Dodgers matches and celebrations that won the NBA Finals and the World Series, respectively; increased epidemics in the workplace; increased travel by people coming from or returning from high-speed areas; and cooler weather, which results in people preferring to stay inside.

Worried that many who ignore the Thanksgiving recommendations to stay home will cause even worse hospitalizations and deaths in December and January. One influential model predicts that, under current policies, the number of cumulative epidemic deaths in California will double to more than 37,000 by the end of winter.

Epidemiologists have long said that any activity in which people do not wear a mask and are close to each other puts them at risk for coronavirus infection. The virus can spread through coughing, talking, and even breathing.

The daily number of new coronavirus cases and deaths reported on Thanksgiving Day and the rest of the festive weekend is expected to be lower than usual, with the result that many counties did not report on the festive weekend. Of California’s 58 counties, only 10 gave new case and death numbers on Thanksgiving Day.