L.A. County hospital capacity ‘dangerously low’ amid coronavirus case surge

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Surging coronavirus cases and a rising number of deaths in Los Angeles County are causing hospital capacity to fall “dangerously low,” health officials said Saturday.

Another 70 deaths and 11,476 new cases of the coronavirus were recorded Saturday. In total, 512,872 cases have been reported and 8,269 people have died of the virus.

Within a month, county health officials have recorded a 416% increase in deaths — spiking from a five-day average of 12 daily deaths on Nov. 12 to an average of 62 deaths on Saturday. For cases, L.A. County has seen a 370% increase over the last month.

The five-day average of daily cases on Nov. 12 was 2,134; that same average was 10,034 on Saturday.

During the same length of time, the testing positivity rate has increased by 141% while hospitalizations have spiked by 303%, according to health officials.

“Hospitals are stressed and filling up with hundreds of new COVID-19 positive patients each day, our healthcare workers are exhausted, and deaths are reaching an all-time high,” Barbara Ferrer, director of the Department of Public Health, said in a written statement from the agency.

In the same statement, the department described current rises in case rates as “unlike any we have ever seen in our county,” stating that reflects troubling rates of community transmission.

Health officials continue to warn against private gatherings and are urging everyone to stay home and physically distance from people outside their household.

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