The situation in hospital morgues is so dire that the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office has been storing bodies on their behalf, and National Guard troops have been called in to help the coroner’s office with administrative duties, officials said.
They expect tomorrow to be much worse; no one wants to come to the E.R. on Christmas day unless they really have to.
The order was put into place when the Southern California region—which includes counties from San Luis Obispo south to San Diego—dropped below 15% capacity in intensive care units.
County officials presented stark data Wednesday that shows by far the hardest hit communities are Latinos, and those who live in low-income areas.
Across LA County, there are now 883 coronavirus patients in the ICU, where the sickest people receive treatment, and 1,560 patients being treated for other conditions. One month ago, on Nov. 14, the number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU was 294.
Officials said close to 2,400 people are now hospitalized and 75 people died in the last 24 hours of the virus, with Barbara Ferrer, director of the Department of Public Health, breaking down in tears at one point while giving the daily report.
Long Beach on Tuesday reported 816 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday—by far a single-day record since the pandemic began in March.
For the Southern California region, which includes Long Beach, it seems a matter of when, not if, the order will be implemented.
Long Beach will prohibit nearly all public and private gatherings, among other restrictions, beginning Wednesday after a dramatic surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations over the past week.
If this trend continues, “we are going to have to take much more drastic measures,” the governor said at a media briefing.