With a surge of coronavirus, the county of L. A. may lack of intensive care beds


Health officials in Los Angeles county were notified Monday that the conditions of the pandemic COVID-19 is deteriorating rapidly and that the highly contagious virus is spreading rapidly in the county, the most populous in the country.They said that they were now facing one of their greatest fears: the reopening of the county of L. A. would correlate with sudden jumps in the transmission of diseases that could overwhelm public and private hospitals.

The county of L. A. has long been the epicenter of the sars coronavirus in California – with nearly 98 000 confirmed cases and more than 3,300 deaths, but officials said Monday that the epidemic is worsening.

Barbara Ferrer, director of public health county of L. A., said that the new data shows “increases in alarming cases, positivity rate, and hospitalization”.

“There is so much at stake, as these continued increases will ensure that many more people will fall seriously ill and will lead to many deaths of COVID-19 “, she said.

“We are seeing an increase in the transmission. We see more people fall sick and go to the hospital. It is, indeed, a change in the trajectory of the epidemic in the last few days. It is a change for the worse and a source of concern, ” said Dr. Christina Ghaly, director of health services of the county of L. A.

With an anticipated increase in admissions to hospital, and for the first time since the crisis of coronavirus has appeared to mitigate locally, the county of L. A. now provides the possibility of running out of hospital beds within two to three weeks. Similarly, the number of beds in intensive care units could be exhausted in July.

If the increase in the rate of transmission of the disease continues as it has done in the last few weeks, this “suggests that we run the risk of running out of hospital beds if we do not take measures to increase this capacity in two to three weeks. “Said Dr. Roger Lewis, biostatistician, director of the unit of modeling of the application COVID-19 for the county and chairman of the emergency department of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center.

The county is currently able to meet the demand of the hospitals, but many patients who have already been exposed to the virus will now fill the beds in the next few weeks. It may take three to four weeks after exposure to the virus for those infected become sick enough to be hospitalized and four to five weeks after exposure to some of the most vulnerable patients die of the disease.

“Therefore, even if measures are taken immediately to reduce the spread in the community, we expect to see a continued increase over the next two to four weeks,” Lewis said.

All public and private hospitals of the county of L. A. should be prepared to treat more patients on the basis of these projections, said Ghaly. Hospitals can create new capabilities by reducing the procedures in elective and surgeries and take steps to quickly release patients who no longer need hospital care.

Hospitals may also add more beds beyond its licensed capacity normal, generally 20% to 40% more, creating a space that they normally do not use for hospital care, such as emergency departments, recovery rooms, and care pre-and postoperatively. care units, said Ghaly. Some hospitals may also re-open services previously authorized or staffed.

The rate of effective transmission of the coronavirus has now increased. Previously, until the beginning of the month of may, for every person infected, less than another average person was infected, which is a testament to the success of the order to remain at home. But at the beginning of June, while the re-opening has been accelerating, the rate of transmission of coronavirus was spent above 1, which means that for every infected person, 1.26 for each additional person is infected, on average.

“We expect that the number of cases is increasing rapidly,” said Ghaly.

Although this rate is lower than what the county has seen more early in the pandemic, when each infected person would infect an average of three other people, the current rate can still cause a much larger number of new cases “because of the base a lot wider of infected individuals. what we have today, ” said Ghaly.

The increased transmission is likely to have occurred towards the week of the week of Memorial Day or shortly after. At the time, the officials of the county of Los Angeles have decided to reopen gradually the economy because the data were stable, with no increase in hospitalizations, and a decline in new death, said Ferrer.

But unfortunately, people and businesses have not complied with the orders of health to wear masks in public and avoid situations of overcrowding. Half of the restaurants visited by inspectors for the county does not comply with the new rules and the authorities have seen examples of overcrowding in public spaces.

“I’ve had an explosion of new outbreaks on the workplace. The one that was closed last weekend, he had over 115 infections. Again, very little compliance with the guidelines on how to operate a plant with as much security as possible, ” said Ferrer.

“And we have had many examples of epidemics that have occurred because the families gather with members of the extended family and friends to celebrate weddings, the things that had to be deferred, and once again, have created a higher risk and there has been a transmission,” said Ferrer.

Ferrer also said that, according to data from Foursquare, the weekend after the 20th of June, the day of the reopening of the bars in the county of L. A., over 500000 people have visited places of nightlife. And the county has seen an increase in 40% of cases of coronavirus among young people, aged 18 to 40 years old, over the past two weeks.


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