The coronavirus in California reached another frightening stage on Thursday, with health officials announcing a one-day record of 379 deaths and a total of two days of nearly 106,000 newly confirmed cases.
The most populous American state has recorded more than 1,000 deaths in the last five days. The total of its global case now exceeds 1.7 million, a figure almost equal to that of Spain and surpassed by only eight countries. The total number of deaths in the state reached 21,860.
Many California hospitals are depleting their ability to treat the worst cases, and the situation complicates the care of patients other than Covid. The capacity of the ICU in Southern California reached 0% on Thursday.
“It’s almost all Covid,” said Arlene Brion, a respiratory therapist at Fountain Valley Regional Hospital in Orange County, where she is assigned six or seven patients, rather than the usual one in three. “There are probably two clean areas, but we all think that in the end everything will be Covid.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who is in quarantine after his daughter was exposed, gave a strict briefing to city residents, warning that in a few days LA County could declare a systemic crisis, with all hospitals in outside the usual space and staff. Hospitals plan to identify areas such as parking lots and conference rooms that can be used to care for patients.
He also reminded residents that the governor had earlier announced that the state had ordered an additional 5,000 body bags and that it had dozens of refrigerated trucks ready to be used as temporary morgues to handle too many bodies for existing morgues. “That scares me and it should scare you,” Garcetti said.
California has maintained a very small number of infections per capita for months, while other states have been hit. The massive rise in infections began in October and is largely blamed on people who ignore safety measures and socialize with others. More recently, health officials said they saw cases coming from gatherings during Halloween and Thanksgiving. They asked residents to avoid meeting people from other households at Christmas and New Year.
Based on the science of Covid-19 transmission, “the devastation we are experiencing now” is due to the fact that infected people are in close or direct contact with another person or group long enough to infect them, said Dr. Muntu Davis. Los Angeles County. health officer.
Officials fear the state may not see its worst days yet. Models posted online by the California Department of Public Health predict that California hospitals in the next four weeks could be overflowing with 75,000 patients, about five times the current level. On average, 400 people could die every day.
The hospitalization projection is based on cases that continue to increase at the current rate of infection, without people taking additional precautions to prevent the virus from spreading.
Amy Arlund, a nurse at Covid-19 at Kaiser Permanente Fresno, said counseling was needed to get her to work every day and was frustrated that her community was going through a recurrence. wave of infections. “We are treated as if we were consumables,” she said. “We’re supposed to be the most trusted profession in the United States, and if we have so much confidence, why don’t people listen to us?”
Against the backdrop of growth, San Diego County has suspended enforcement of Covid-19 restrictions on adult restaurants and live entertainment. The move came after a judge extended his order to protect two strip clubs against a state closure order and surprisingly said the ruling applies more to restaurants.
San Diego Superior Court Judge Joel Wohlfeil said the government had presented “no evidence” that the units that implemented safety requirements contributed to the increase.
California has opened five alternative care facilities, including a former NBA arena in Sacramento and two state-run development centers, to try to ease the burden on hospitals. Another 1,555 beds were in what state officials call a “warm state,” meaning they can be amplified in a few days to receive patients. State officials also continue to discuss with the defense department the use of personnel on the USNS Mercy Hospital ship, even if they do not use the ship itself.
San Francisco issued a 10-day travel quarantine on Thursday for anyone traveling to the region from elsewhere because of the large number of cases in other parts of the state and country. The city has a record average of 242 new cases a day, although the growth rate has “slowed down a bit”, meaning there is still time to return to the “serious situation”, said Public Health Director Dr Grant Colfax.