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Christmas arrived in Los Angeles County with hospitals in a full-blown coronavirus crisis.

There are now so many patients that some hospitals are running dangerously low on oxygen and other supplies critical to treating those with COVID-19.

Patients are waiting as many as eight hours in ambulances before they can enter the emergency room. With intensive care units at 0% available capacity, health officials are urging that people avoid emergency rooms or dialing 911 for assistance unless absolutely necessary.

And in a grim reminder that the worst is still likely to come, one L.A. County health official has asked providers to reach out to patients who have serious illnesses or are medically frail to review their advanced-care directives and ensure forms are on file detailing their end-of-life care.

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