At least two Long Beach-area hospitals recently took the grim step of convening teams of medical professionals who would decide which patients are given potentially lifesaving care and which are denied it if the current wave of COVID-19 cases pushes local health care providers to that point.
Thursday was the first time the city announced a police employee was hospitalized for COVID-19.
The first patient was transferred from College Medical Center on Tuesday afternoon. Additional patients are expected to arrive in the coming days and weeks, though agreements with some facilities still need to be ironed out, officials said.
After months of delays, Community Hospital Long Beach has been granted a license from the state health department and will open with 11 ICU beds as the region runs dangerously low.
In the early days of the pandemic, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued special orders to reopen Community Hospital Long Beach temporarily as a backstop to the growing threat of COVID-19. But nine months later—as a surge of cases is pushing local hospitals to the brink—the facility remains shuttered with no answers from the state as to why.
Over the past week, a person died in Los Angeles County from COVID every 10 to 15 minutes.
The final inspection process began last week, with state surveyors providing the operator with a short “punchlist” of minor issues, all of which have since been addressed, according to a spokesman.
Ken McKenzie, who has owned and operated McKenzie Mortuary Services in Long Beach for more than 25 years, said he’s seeing parallels to the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.
As coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continue to reach unprecedented levels, Long Beach area ICUs are nearing capacity, which—coupled with overworked staff—will lead to an increased number of deaths, health officials warn.
Over the weekend, American Airlines quietly added one daily nonstop flight from Long Beach Airport to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Dallas beginning April.