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Two makeshift hospital rooms sit outside the ambulance entrance to Arrowhead Medical Center in San Bernardino County, a hint of how dire things have become as the county faces a surge of COVID-19 cases.

Things have gotten so bad at times that paramedics and ambulance drivers have had to wait up to six hours to offload COVID-19 patients, many of them often struggling to breathe.

“We had patients who were taking 40 to 50 breaths per minute. The average is 20,” said Dr. Joel Labha, who has taken care many of those patients.

Hospitals across California are being overwhelmed by the surge in coronavirus, but the conditions in San Bernardino County and the greater Inland Empire are particularly acute. New cases of the coronavirus in San Bernardino County are growing faster than any other county in California on a per capita basis, according to The Times’ tracker.

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