[NFA] California is in crisis as officials blame holiday parties and travel for a surge that is killing one person every 15 minutes in Los Angeles county, where the public health director said the worst of the pandemic is still yet to come, adding, "and that's hard to imagine." Lisa Bernhard produced this report.
California in crisis… with coronavirus cases and deaths surging so high 911 dispatchers can’t keep up.
DISPATCHER: “It’s just call after call after call.
The amount of 911 calls we receive and send our ambulances to is just out of control.” EMS workers then wait, sometimes up to four hours, until their patient is admitted... with hospitals beds near capacity and ICU workers in short supply – many sick with COVID themselves – like at USC’s Keck School of Medicine where Carl Chudnofsky is an ER doctor.
“This is the worst medical disaster that I have seen in over 30 years of practicing emergency medicine.” On Monday, two stark memos were issued by the L.A.
County Emergency Medical Services Agency.
One instructed paramedics to conserve their use of oxygen, the other told them not to bring patients to hospitals who appear to have little chance of survival.
County public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer on Monday blamed holiday parties and travel for a spike so high in her area it is killing one person every 15 minutes – with L.A.
County on its way to possibly more than 1,000 deaths a week.
"We're likely to experience the worst conditions in January that we faced the entire pandemic, and that's hard to imagine." California is one of four states that have the detected the new variant of the virus first found in the UK – the others being New York, Florida and Colorado.
Dr. Ferrer told LA residents to (quote) “take every precaution possible” as one in five people in the county have tested positive.
“Assume that this deadly, invisible virus is everywhere… looking for a willing host.” For those feeling isolated after months of strict measures, Ferrer reminded L.A.
Residents that it’s (quote) “better to be lonely than to be sick.”