LA County hospital beds may not meet demand as coronavirus cases surge, officials say

Officials said hospitalizations are on the rise and transmission of the virus has increased.
LOS ANGELES -- Health officials warned on Monday that in coming weeks there may not be enough hospital beds to accommodate patients as COVID-19 cases surge in Los Angeles County.

Officials said hospitalizations are on the rise and transmission of the virus has increased.

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"An increase in hospitalizations of course translates into an increase demand for hospital beds," said Dr. Christina Ghaly, director for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services.

Rep. Raul Ruiz, who represents the Riverside County area, released a statement Monday saying that ICU beds are 98.7% full in that area.

"We're meeting the demand right now for hospital beds, but if the predicted increase in new patients requiring hospitalizations materializes, the number of hospital beds could become inadequate in the next few weeks. In many cases, the people who will need these beds have already been exposed to COVID-19 because what's happening in our hospitals are reflective of what happened a few weeks ago in our communities," Dr. Ghaly said.
The development comes as officials also confirmed 2,903 COVID-19 cases, the highest daily increase ever reported as total cases in the county passed 100,000.

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If health officials' predicted increase materializes, the number of hospital beds could become inadequate within the next few weeks.

"I need to say to all of us, businesses and individuals across the county, at this point If you're not part of the solution to slowing the spread, you're ending up being part of the problem," said Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer.
Last week, local health officials projected that one in 400 individuals were infected with COVID-19 and not isolated. That estimate is currently at one in 140.

The spike in cases prompted Gov. Gavin Newsom to issue an order calling for bars in several counties, including Los Angeles, to close in an effort to stop the spread.

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Newsom also announced Monday that Orange County and three other counties were being closely monitored for worsening COVID-19 trends as the state attempts to mitigate the spread of the virus.



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