California Counties Run Out Of ICU Capacity; Predicted Covid-19 “Surge On Top Of A Surge” Hits; Deaths Spike Dramatically
The long talked about “surge on top of a surge” seems to have arrived in California.
For weeks state, local and national health officials such as Dr. Anthony Fauci had warned about already elevated Covid-19 numbers could be overtopped by a surge related to Thanksgiving travel and gatherings. On Monday, Los Angeles County health officials acknowledged its arrival as infections at both the state and county levels hit and all-time high. If there was any doubt about that assessment, Wednesday’s numbers were confirmation.
California reported 30,851 new daily Covid-19 infections on Wednesday. That’s the highest number the state has ever seen. The previous high, on Monday, was 30,075. For perspective, that was a leap frog from 25,068 on Friday and 22.018 on Thursday. That makes four all-time highs in cases in the past week and puts new high 140% above the summer wave’s daily case high of 12,807.
ICU units across the state have begun to run out of space. Units in Fresno and three San Joaquin Valley counties were officially over capacity on Wednesday. ICU availability in San Diego and Santa Clara Counties is projected to reach capacity next week. Available capacity in Southern California was pegged at 10.3% on Monday, but had doubtless fallen sharply to 9% on Wednesday.
“It is the worst we have seen, and it’s continuing to worsen,” one doctor in Santa Clara told the L.A. Times.
In Los Angeles a record number of heathcare workers were reported sick, further taking the system.
Even more grim, deaths have ominously begun to rise across California, reaching the 5th-highest daily count of the pandemic at 196.
On Tuesday, California Director of Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly predicted that Wednesday’s numbers would be much higher than the about 24,000 new cases he was reporting. He was right.
Ghaly then added that the state has experienced a 50% increase in test positivity rate in the past two weeks. Then, for the first time, he hinted that there might be an extension of Governor Gavin Newsom’s Regional Stay-at-Home Order if positivity rates do not come down.
“In order for us to get through this difficult time, we need the actions of our citizens and our communities to make decisions to reduce transmissions overall so we can get through not just what might be a tough three weeks, but hopefully prevent three weeks turning into six or nine weeks if transmission rates stay as high as they are.”