Los Angeles County has hit a “tragic milestone” as deaths surpassed 9,000 this week. 1,000 of those deaths came over the last two weeks. The county is currently averaging 85 deaths a day.
“Unfortunately, today marks another tragic milestone as we acknowledge and grieve the more than 9,000 residents that have passed away from COVID-19. Our actions have an impact on the health and well-being of many people in our county, and not following the public health rules has deadly consequences,” said L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer in a statement Tuesday.
The record numbers are expected to get worse as Los Angeles faces an ongoing surge of coronavirus cases and hospitals become overwhelmed. ICU capacity statewide remains around 2%. It is 0% in Southern California, forcing hospitals to enter “surge” mode.
One survey determined that only 30 ICU beds were available on Sunday. That’s down from the 69 beds available last week.
Hospitals are now preparing to possibly begin rationing care in the coming weeks according to a document obtained by the Los Angeles Times. The document outlined guidelines on how to allocate resources to save as many patients as possible, instead of trying to save every patient. If the guidelines are put in place it would mean patients determined less likely to survive would not receive the same care that they normally would.
Photo by Los Angeles County (Flickr)