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More than 1,000 new L.A. coronavirus cases in two days

Coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County increased dramatically on Wednesday as officials reported more than 500 new cases, bringing the total number of people infected by the virus in the region to 3,518.

County officials also reported 11 new deaths from the virus, which has tolls to 65.

“Every day reporting these numbers is devastating,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “I know it is more devastating for the family and friends who have experienced this enormous loss.”


Coronavirus cases topped 8,700 worldwide as the death toll approached 200 and officials are struggling with supply shortages while rushing to prepare hospitals for what is expected to be a stream of patients in the coming weeks.

The number of intensive care patients in the state tripled – from 200 to 597 – in less than a week and the number of hospitalizations nearly doubled, from 746 to 1,432, officials said this week.

State officials are working to add more beds to hospitals and intensive care units to manage the flooding in patients with coronavirus. There is concern that the state could without action be short tens of thousands of hospital beds needed during the worst day of the epidemic.

A Los Angeles Times data analysis found that California has 7,200 ICU beds in more than 365 hospitals. In total, the state has more than 70,000 beds, with about one ICU bed for every 5,500 people in California.

About half of California’s total ICU beds – 3,700 – are located in the five-county area around L.A. county, according to data from 2018, the latest available. In the San Francisco Bay Area in nine counties, there are approximately 1,400 ICU beds for a population of 7.6 million.

In the midst of an increasing number of infections, community clinics and health centers continue on the front lines with a lack of test kits and medical equipment they need to protect staff against the virus. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, community clinics and health centers in Los Angeles County have helped alleviate the spread of the virus and prevent sick patients from overwhelming hospitals.

At St. The John’s Well Child and Family Center, a nonprofit that runs 18 health centers and school-based clinics in Los Angeles and Compton, has made the situation so dire that patients have offered to sew surgical masks for staff.

In a new teleconference Tuesday, St. John Managing Director Jim Mangia said it would not be enough and urged the federal government to call for the production of protective equipment and masks for healthcare professionals.

Community clinics that usually manage primary care, including checking and prescribing patients insulin for diabetes or high blood pressure medicine, have canceled their regular appointments and seen more patients with symptoms matching those with COVID-19.

Mangia said last week that the nonprofit saw 879 patients who were required to be placed in tri-tent tents to isolate them from other patients. He said 39 tests were performed and seven were positive for COVID-19. He said at least three patients have been hospitalized.

“By the end of this week, we will be running out of protective gear,” Mangia said. “We still don’t have the tests we need to contain the spread and isolate our patients.

“We mainly do provisional front line work,” he added.

Some experts say this is the beginning of what could be a worsening crisis. Many have warned against loosening home and social distance policies that have been introduced to restrict people’s movements in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus.

State officials announced Wednesday that California’s public K-12 campus is expected to remain closed for the remainder of the school year in response to the escalating coronavirus pandemic as educators take on the huge challenge of distance education for about 6.1 million students.

Families and teachers should work “with the expectation now that schools will not reopen, but classes are in” for the remainder of the school year, Prime Minister Gavin Newsom said.

“To all moms, all teachers, all caregivers, I know how stressful this is, trust me,” Newsom said. “I know what we’re asking you for in the coming months.”

California faces a peak of 5,000 coronavirus deaths this week if the state’s stay-at-home policy is relaxed prematurely, Dr. Chris Farnitano, a Contra Costa County health officer, to his supervisory board this week. That would mean 600 deaths a week from COVID-19 in central San Francisco Bay Area and 100 to 200 deaths a week in Contra Costa County, he said.

“We are still hopeful that we can avoid [this scenario] if we don’t relax our efforts to flatten the curve, “said Farnitano, who shared the possible epidemic results the same day as six Bay Area counties expanded and strengthened the country’s first coronavirus protection in place order.

Sacramento County had 300 confirmed cases of the virus and eight deaths from Tuesday night, according to health officials. In the surrounding counties Placer, Yolo and El Dorado, there have been more than 100 confirmed cases. Two people have died in Placer County, and one person has died in Yolo County.

In Southern California, the number of confirmed cases of the virus continues to grow.

Orange County saw its biggest one-time increase in coronavirus infections so far on Wednesday, when officials announced 107 new cases and three more deaths. A total of 606 COVID-19 cases and 10 deaths have been confirmed throughout the country.

The rivers of the Riverside County virus jumped to 371, prompting county health officials to recommend that residents cover their noses and mouths when in public. Thirteen people have died across the country after being infected by the virus, according to health officials.

Officials said the recommendation is based on new knowledge about coronavirus.

“As the situation changes, the rulebook changes,” Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County Public Health Ombudsman in a statement.

“We see that the number is increasing even faster than we predicted and this means that our strategy must also change. Covering the face does not change the orders that everyone must follow to stay home as much as possible and maintain social distance, but it’s an extra layer of protection that I think we need to add. “

Times staff writers Luke Money, Sonali Kohli, Howard Blume and Kailyn Brown contributed to this report.

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