By T.A. Hendrickson
Intensive care units at hospitals near Northeast Los Angeles remain at or near capacity as people infected with the coronavirus seek care in increasing numbers.
The latest data, published Jan. 11 by the New York Times, tracks information provided by hospitals to the federal government for the week ending Jan. 7.
The data show that ICUs were full at four nearby hospitals: Adventist Health Glendale, Alhambra Hospital Medical Center, Glendale Memorial Hospital and USC Verdugo Hills. In all, 428 COVID-19 patients were being treated at those four hospitals, compared with 401 patients a week earlier.
At four other nearby hospitals, ICUs were 91% to 97% full, with one ICU bed available at White Memorial in Boyle Heights, three at Providence St. Joseph in Burbank, four at Keck USC in downtown L.A. and 10 at L.A. County & USC Medical Center. In all, 649 COVID-19 patients were being treated at those four hospitals, compared with 584 a week earlier.
The only nearby hospital with any appreciable ICU capacity was Huntington Memorial in Pasadena, at 70% occupancy and 22 available beds. But even those figures represent a worsening situation, from 62% capacity and 26 available beds a week earlier. In all, 188 COVID-19 patients were being treated at Huntington, compared with 183 a week earlier.
Health experts say that the rise in the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations likely reflects travel and gatherings over the holidays.
In California, stay-at-home orders are triggered when a region’s ICU capacity reaches 85%. At hospitals with more than 95% ICU occupancy, maintaining existing standards of care for the sickest patients may be difficult or impossible, according to experts consulted by the New York Times.