California Covid-19 Update: Statewide Available ICU Capacity Falls To 0% On Christmas Day
In Covid-19, California devastated on Christmas Day, and the remaining ICU capacity dropped to zero for the first time in the entire state.
Some counties, like Los Angeles and Orange Counties, have been at 0% for over a week, but the entire state has recently moved between 1 and 3%.
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The decrease is likely due to less populous counties in the state that had seen much better numbers before and eventually declined.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said the state had an ICU capacity of 2.5% on Monday. On Wednesday he reported it had fallen to 1.1%. At Christmas, the day after the state's first 2 millionth infection, available capacity in California officially dropped to 0%.
Beds are still available in the state as the officer, health officials have stated, is skipping availability in the intensive care unit - for children - and other beds that are not suitable for the majority of adults in the state.
Newsom has repeatedly emphasized that 0% is the reason for the traditional intensive care network of hospitals. He reiterated this week that hiring federal employees, breaking the normal nurse-to-patient relationship, and bringing in more intensive care nurses - such as those recently retired - could add about another 20% of "surge capacity" - and became a population of the state.
Still, scenes of patients lined up on stretchers outside the emergency room do emerge. They resemble terrifyingly similar images that were earlier seen during the pandemic in New York and in hard-hit countries like Italy.
On Friday, director James Gunn tweeted about the heartbreaking problems a friend's family had over a hospital overcrowding from Covid. "My friend's father had cancer surgery a week ago," Gunn wrote. “Two days later he had complications. He went back to the hospital but couldn't get a bed because of all the Covid patients ... "
One bizarre side note in Sunday's numbers: the state's Covid-19 dashboard showed 0 new hospitalizations due to the pandemic. The daily number of new infections - 39,144 - was there, as was the still sky-high death toll at 312. This is the fourth highest death toll since the pandemic began.
After the state's test positivity rate hit 13.3% about a week ago, that daily number dropped to 12.6% on Thursday and 12.4% on Friday last week.
The LA Public Health Department announced that it would not release comprehensive figures on Friday due to "a failure of the Spectrum Service in the Los Angeles area". It has been reported that 6,708 people were hospitalized with Covid nationwide. A was recently the case, 20% of them are in intensive care. It is unclear what impact the default had on government numbers.
The City News Service contributed to this report.
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