As Covid-19 tightens its grip on California, one in every 64 Los Angeles County residents is infected with the virus and is "actively infecting others," L.A. County Health Services Director Christina Ghaly estimates.
In an interview with Poppy Harlow on CNN’s Newsroom, Ghaly said because of the widespread infections, the county’s hospitals are full. About half of all ICU patients are suffering from Covid-19, and about a third of regular beds are filled with Covid patients. ICU Capacity in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley remains at zero, with just 2.1% of ICU beds availability statewide.
At this point, Los Angeles hospitals are not turning away patients, nor are they rationing care.
"Obviously that's a situation nobody wants to be in and we're not there in Los Angeles County and we're not there in California, but the hospitals are under stress," said Ghaly. She expressed concern that holiday gatherings will lead to another surge in two to three weeks.
Guidelines on how L.A. County hospitals could prioritize patients by rationing care have been circulated among doctors at some area hospitals, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times. Without enough staff to save every patient, doctors may soon be faced with just trying to save as many as possible.
"It's heartbreaking really to see where we're at, at this point in the pandemic. We're so close to the end with the very same time that we're battling this scourge in Los Angeles County," Ghaly lamented.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom is under quarantine for the second time, as he was recently in contact with staffer who has tested positive for Covid-19, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is quarantining after his nine-year-old daughter tested positive for the virus last week. Both politicians have tested negative