In California, most coronavirus deaths occurred in a single day


More Californians died on Tuesday from COVID-19 than any other day, the latest milestone in an accelerating epidemic that infects residents to a level and transports them to a hospital hospital that far overshadows what has happened so far.

According to data compiled by The Times, Tuesday’s 219 deaths exceeded the previous one-day peak of 214, which was recorded on July 31st.

The latest data could be a harbinger of higher deaths. By last week, California had just four times the number of deaths caused by 200 coronaviruses a day. This number has been exceeded twice in the last five days.

The seven-day mortality average, 135 California per day last week, is also at a level not seen since the state’s darkest day of summer.

A month ago, the state averaged an average of 44 deaths a day.

Nearly 1,400 Californians have died from COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Since the outbreak, the disease has killed more than 20,300 nationwide.

The number of casualties was highest in Los Angeles, the most populous county in the state. More than 8,000 Angelenos died in COVID-19 – a fact that almost drove public health director Barbara Ferrer at a briefing on Wednesday.

“More than 8,000 people who were a beloved member of his family will not return,” he said in a muffled voice. “And their deaths are an unpredictable loss to their friends and family, and to our community.”

The sharp death toll in recent weeks is a recognition of what public health officials have long feared – that the massive surge in new coronavirus cases will not only flood public hospitals with patients, but will also swell the population. disease.

“As cases have risen steadily in recent weeks, we are witnessing a significant increase in the number of dying people,” Ferrer said.

Despite the overall increase in deaths, LA county officials said they believed the COVID-19 mortality rate had improved during the pandemic, attributed to more experienced staff and a broader knowledge of the best ways to treat patients.

Healthcare providers, for example, have learned that the use of mechanical ventilators – the availability of which is a major national concern this year – “is not the best first option for someone struggling with breathing,” said Dr. Christina Ghaly, director of county health services.

“There are many treatments that have proven helpful, but unfortunately not all patients are cured,” he said on Wednesday.

The number of deaths is caused by the number of people infected – and there are currently more cases of the coronavirus than at any other point in the pandemic.

On Nov. 3, LA County reported a seven-day COVID-19 average of 800 hospitalizations per day and 10 deaths.

On Tuesday, the county’s seven-day average was 3,000 hospitalizations per day and more than 40 deaths.

“The mortality rate has decreased compared to COVID-19. Nevertheless, the relationship between cases, hospital care, and then dying people persists. Ferrer said. “The more you transfer, the more people get to the hospital.” And the more people get to the hospital because those in the hospital are very ill, the more deaths we will witness. And we see that this game is ahead of us.

Given how quickly and fiercely the pandemic is contributing worldwide, officials say it is more important than ever for residents to protect themselves and their loved ones from infection.

“Our message is, stay home as much as you can,” Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, said Tuesday. “We know it works. We know we can reduce our baud rate. “

Nevertheless, conditions are steadily deteriorating across the country.

In California, 34,490 new cases of coronavirus were recorded on Monday, with a daily peak of 35,400 on Tuesday. Before the week, the state had never reached 23,000 new cases in a single day.

These numbers are particularly worrying given the time lag between infection, possible hospitalization, and death. Typically, those who get sick enough for hospitalization do so two to three weeks after infection – meaning astronomically high numbers of cases for the week could cause patients to flood later this month.

California hospitals are now caring for more COVID-19 patients than ever before.

Nationwide 11,012 coronavirus-positive hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital hospital Both data are peak peaks.

As in the cases, it is not only the raw numbers that matter to public health officials, but also the rate of growth.

The number of people hospitalized with the coronavirus has increased by 78% in the last two weeks. Intake of intensive benefits increases by 75% over the same period.

While hospitals can expand their capacity if needed, their capacity to do so is not infinite. They are further restricted for ICU beds, which require specially trained healthcare professionals and state-of-the-art equipment, and are particularly critical for patients with severe cases of COVID-19 who may require ventilators and round-the-clock care.

Amid the ongoing collapse of COVID-19 patients, some ICUs are already feeling the discharge.

At least three counties in the San Joaquin Valley reached zero capacity on Tuesday. On the same day, Santa Clara County had 31 available intensive care beds — only 9.5% of its capacity remaining — to serve the most populous county in Northern California, home to nearly 2 million people.

“All you can hear about the impact on our hospitals is how severe this situation is in the intensive care units – that’s absolutely true,” said Dr Rais Vohra, interim health officer at the Fresno County Department of Public Health.

The potential strain on this valuable resource may be why the state has made ICU numbers the trigger for the latest set of restrictions on the coronavirus.

Under the new system, officials divided the state into five regions: Southern California, the San Joaquin Valley, the Gulf, Great Sacramento, and rural Northern California.

If a region’s available ICU capacity drops below 15%, it will have to stay at home, which will limit retail capacity to 20% and shut down outdoor restaurant meals, hairdressers, nail salons, card rooms, museums, zoos. , aquariums and wineries.

Public outdoor playgrounds were originally classified as areas to be closed, but the state reversed this requirement in a new guide issued Wednesday morning. LA county officials announced Wednesday that they will reopen playgrounds.

The new home retention restrictions have already been implemented in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley regions. Availability of ICUs in these areas fell to 9% and 4.2%, respectively, by Wednesday morning.

Greater Sacramento – which includes the counties of Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba – is up 14.3% from Wednesday, according to the state. The home residence policy will take effect on Thursday at 11:59 p.m. in that region.

Five Bay Area counties – San Francisco, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Alameda and Marin – have proactively implemented the new restrictions.

The region defined by the other states is still above the 15% threshold, but officials warn that this could change quickly and that all California stakes remain high.

“This is the worst we’ve seen, and it’s getting worse,” said Dr. Ahmad Kamal, director of health preparedness in Santa Clara County. “Hospitals are approaching capacity, the number of employees is thin – not just in our county, but across the state and across the country.”

Times staff members Faith E. Pinho and Lila Seidman contributed to this report.