Los Angeles county doubled its number of infections due to the Coronavirus Pandemic In a little more than a month, climbing from about 400,000 cases on November 30, to more than 800,000 cases on January 2, health officials said Monday.
Over 7,600 people are hospitalized in the county and 21% of those people are in ICU beds, officials said.
Now with no bedspace available, county officials have told ambulance drivers and EMS to only transport patients who are likely to survive.
"Hospitals are declaring internal disasters and having to open church gyms to serve as hospital units," Supervisor Hilda Solis said, calling the situation a "human disaster."
And a person is dying of the virus every 15 minutes, Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said.
"Effective immediately, due to the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on EMS and 9-1-1 Receiving Hospitals, adult patients (18 years of age or older) in blunt traumatic and nontraumatic out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) shall not be transported [if]return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) is not achieved in the field," the agency said in a memo issued to ambulance workers last week.
If there are no signs of breathing or a pulse, EMS will continue to perform resuscitation for at least 20 minutes, the memo said. If the patient is stabilized after the period of resuscitation, they would then be taken to a hospital. If the patient is declared dead at the scene or no pulse can be restored, paramedics will no longer transport the body to the hospital. CNN