Amid the unprecedented surge in coronavirus infections, hundreds of COVID-19 patients have flooded into Los Angeles County’s hospitals in record-breaking numbers in recent weeks, straining supplies and health care workers.
There was a record 7,181 people with COVID-19 hospitalized in L.A. County on Tuesday — a 1,000% increase from two months ago, county health officials said in a news release.
The alarming number also means that 267 people battling the virus were admitted into hospitals around the county in just one day.
“Suffering followed by more suffering continue as too many residents and businesses behave as if we are not living in the most dangerous time of the most devastating pandemic,” L.A. County Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement.
L.A. County hospitals are turning to “crisis care,” with not enough space to unload ambulances or get oxygen to patients who can’t breathe, California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said in a news briefing Tuesday.
“Our healthcare workers are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients and this current path of surging COVID-19 hospitalizations is not sustainable,” Ferrer said.
L.A. County reported 12,979 new coronavirus cases and another 227 COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday. The numbers included fatalities from a backlog caused by an internet outage.
With the virus spreading faster than ever before, health officials urged residents to avoid gathering.
“Instead of hosting or attending a party this New Year’s Eve, choose to stay home and celebrate with only your household or to connect virtually with other family members and friends,” Ferrer said. “Make ending this deadly surge part of your New Year’s resolution.”