Stars and Stripes stripes.com 06 Jan, 2021 19:30 am

Hospitals struggle to keep up in COVID-19 hot spot California

Hospitals struggle to keep up in COVID-19 hot spot California
California is so swamped by the coronavirus pandemic that the state has ordered hospitals with room to accept patients from others that have maxed out on intensive care beds.

Hospitals struggle to keep up in COVID-19 hot spot California Emergency medical technicians sanitize an ambulance stretcher after transporting a patient at USC Medical Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, Jan.LOS ANGELES — California is so swamped by the coronavirus pandemic that the state has ordered hospitals with room to accept patients from others that have maxed out on intensive care beds.Community Hospital in Los Angeles, where patients are being housed in its former gift shop, a chapel, tents and hallways, had more COVID-19 patients on Tuesday than its total capacity.The hospital was emblematic of the worsening situation in Los Angeles County, the nation's most populous with about 10 million residents.

Marc Eckstein, medical director and emergency medical services commander of the Los Angeles Fire Department, said transporting someone without a pulse gives families false hope, takes the ambulance out of service, exposes workers to COVID-19 and requires decontaminating the vehicle." Los Angeles continues to see hospitalizations rise day after day, setting a new record Tuesday with almost 8,000 hospitalized and more than a fifth of those in ICU.

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