With Covid-19 hospitalizations rising, California doctor says sometimes beds only open up when patients die

With the number of Covid-19 hospitalizations at an a...

Posted: Dec 31, 2020 4:08 PM
Updated: Jan 1, 2021 3:45 AM

With the number of Covid-19 hospitalizations at an all-time high, medical facilities are having a hard time finding places to put new patients.

Doctors in Santa Clara, California, are treating some critically ill patients in the emergency room, as there's just no spots in intensive care units. 'Often, the only time we can move someone is when a Covid patient dies,' Dr. Marco Randazzo, an emergency room physician, said Thursday at a news conference.

Dr. Ahmad Kamal of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center said they are seeing conditions that were not normal. 'We are clearly not out of the woods -- we are in the thick of the woods.'

More than 21,000 Covid-19 patients are in hospital beds throughout the state, with about 4,500 of them in intensive care units.

As 2020 nears its end, the US still is setting one-day records for Covid-19 deaths and hospitalizations.

Covid-19 hospitalizations have soared in December. The US set a record Thursday for the number of patients in hospitals on a given day, at 125,379, according to the Covid Tracking Project.

As the number of hospital patients rose more than 25% this month, the average number of deaths reported each day has also climbed significantly.

More than 3,740 coronavirus deaths were reported Wednesday, the most tallied in a single day during the pandemic and the second straight day that record was set, Johns Hopkins University data show.

And the outlook is grim for January. More than 80,000 Americans could die of Covid-19 over the next three weeks, a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ensemble forecast projects -- offering a stark reminder the nation is still facing challenging times.

The projection comes amid ongoing vaccine distributions -- a rollout experts say has been slower than they'd hoped. Vaccines will only make any meaningful impact once they're widely available to the public, possibly not until summertime, experts have said.

And many states are reporting alarming trends.

In Georgia, where the average number of new daily coronavirus cases is more than double what it was just six weeks ago, officials are again preparing to use Atlanta's large convention center as an overflow medical center. The Georgia World Congress Center 'will begin accepting patients at the end of this week,' with 60 beds available, Gov. Brian Kemp said Thursday.

Mississippi and Louisiana on Wednesday saw their highest single-day case counts.

New Orleans officials urged 'extreme caution' during New Year's Eve, with indoor facilities for bars, breweries, and live adult entertainment venues closed Thursday.

In Nevada, a similar message: Gov. Steve Sisolak urged residents to avoid high-risk activities to slow the spread of the virus in the state.

'I know people want to celebrate the end of 2020, and I don't blame them. But if we don't start making smart choices at the start of 2021, we will look a lot and feel a lot more like 2020 than any of us want it to be,' the governor said.

Texas reported a record number of hospitalizations for the fourth day in a row on Thursday.

California's Los Angeles County hit a grim milestone Wednesday, surpassing 10,000 total Covid-19 deaths.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told Jake Tapper: 'This is what we all feared.'

He urged people to make their New Year's resolutions to stay home to help stop the spread of the virus.

'We are still going to have our toughest and darkest days,' Garcetti said.

'We need to be doing a better job' on vaccine rollout, official says

More than 2.7 million doses of the vaccine have been administered, according to the latest CDC numbers, and more than 12.4 million have been distributed in the US.

The numbers are still a far cry from the 20 million vaccinations that officials had initially promised by the end of the year.

'We have literally 10 million doses sitting on the shelf around the country, waiting to go into arms. We need mass events,' CNN medical analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine at George Washington University, said Thursday. 'We need large events at football stadiums and racetracks.

'We need to go into mass vaccination mode, and we need to do it now.'

State and local leaders have also exp ressed concern about the slow pace.

In New York City, officials announced a plan to get vaccines into 1 million people there by the end of January, expanding on the 88,000 people who've received a dose currently.

The first of several city-operated vaccine hubs -- in places such as school gymnasiums -- will open in mid-January in the hardest-hit neighborhoods, city Health Commissioner Dave Chokshi said Thursday.

The CDC generally recommended that front-line health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities receive vaccines first. But an increasing number of states are expanding their eligibility lists.

In Louisiana, a limited number of people ages 70 and over, as well as outpatient health care workers, can start getting vaccines with appointments at pharmacies statewide starting next week, Gov, John Bel Edwards said Thursday. The pharmacies will start receiving vaccines for these people on Monday.

Georgia officials declared plans to add adults 65 and older, law enforcement officers, firefighters and first responders as eligible to get a vaccine. In West Virginia, people 80 and over could get the vaccine, starting Wednesday, the governor said.

In Nevada, officials said people 75 and older will be included in Tier 2 of the state's Covid-19 vaccine distribution plan and will be vaccinated at the same time as the first group of Nevada's frontline workers. Residents between 65 and 74 years of age and people with underlying health conditions will be part of the Tier 3 group, along with the second group of essential workers.

3 states have recorded cases of the UK variant

Officials in three states this week reported cases of a Covid-19 variant first identified in the UK that experts have said is more transmissible than prior strains.

In Florida, health officials said Thursday that preliminary test results show a Martin County man in his 20s, with no history of travel, has the UK variant.

California health officials announced Wednesday the variant had been detected in a 30-year-old San Diego man, who is not hospitalized and had very few social interactions during his potential contagious period.

'Understanding that it is here in San Diego really underscores the significance of what we have been asking and continue to ask everyone to do,' said San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher. 'Wear the face covering, avoid close contact with people you don't live with, avoid large indoor settings and don't leave your home unless it is essential.'

The first known case of the UK variant in the US was in Colorado, state officials said earlier this week. At least 29 countries have reported cases of the variant, per CNN reporting.

Data suggests the new Covid-19 variant has been circulating undetected in the US and transmitted from person to person, the CDC says.

'Public health authorities in Colorado detected a variant that was first identified in the UK, in a person who reported no travel history, the lack of reported travel history suggests this variant has been transmitting from person to person in the United States,' said Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC's Covid-19 incident manager.

Even though there is no evidence the variant causes more severe symptoms or increased risk of death, it could lead to more cases and 'put even more strain on our heavily burdened health care systems,' Walke said.

But the vaccines that are being distributed across the country will likely protect against the variant, Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Dr. Brett Giroir told CNN on Wednesday.

'We do expect -- we haven't proven it 100%, but we will soon -- we do expect that the vaccines now being administered or under development will cover this strain very well,' Giroir said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 268672

Reported Deaths: 5917
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17928195
Hinds17030337
Harrison14510212
Rankin11315223
Jackson11054193
Lee9109147
Madison8663171
Jones6853120
Forrest6260125
Lauderdale6161196
Lowndes5582123
Lafayette5269101
Lamar508765
Washington4965125
Bolivar4164110
Oktibbeha411585
Panola389881
Pontotoc380460
Monroe3727111
Warren3716103
Marshall360172
Union360165
Pearl River3527106
Neshoba3516158
Leflore3132110
Lincoln308389
Hancock300963
Sunflower294277
Tate281862
Alcorn274055
Pike272984
Itawamba271263
Scott264055
Yazoo258456
Prentiss255454
Coahoma252455
Copiah251549
Tippah251551
Simpson244872
Leake238967
Marion228274
Covington224873
Grenada224673
Wayne216336
Adams216271
Winston208271
George206440
Newton201447
Attala197465
Tishomingo196361
Chickasaw190245
Jasper183138
Holmes172568
Clay168637
Tallahatchie158035
Stone153625
Clarke148762
Calhoun142022
Smith131926
Yalobusha124935
Walthall115438
Greene114929
Noxubee114526
Montgomery112936
Lawrence107917
Carroll106922
Perry105931
Amite102727
Webster98024
Claiborne90125
Tunica89621
Jefferson Davis89330
Benton86923
Humphreys85625
Kemper81220
Quitman7169
Franklin71017
Choctaw64013
Wilkinson60125
Jefferson57321
Sharkey45717
Issaquena1616
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 445909

Reported Deaths: 6896
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson651891049
Mobile32138590
Madison28596223
Tuscaloosa21703276
Montgomery20220336
Shelby19584138
Baldwin17496216
Lee13378109
Morgan12741145
Etowah12196189
Calhoun11626228
Marshall10513126
Houston9097168
Limestone842481
Cullman8363125
Elmore8283112
Lauderdale7986112
DeKalb7935112
St. Clair7915139
Talladega6552112
Walker6068184
Jackson605649
Colbert560194
Blount551794
Autauga544065
Coffee470569
Dale415186
Franklin378150
Russell362816
Chilton348079
Covington344681
Escambia342244
Tallapoosa3184109
Dallas314197
Chambers308575
Clarke307339
Pike267735
Lawrence256958
Marion255763
Winston235243
Bibb224751
Geneva214747
Marengo212031
Pickens201831
Barbour188240
Hale187444
Fayette181230
Butler175960
Cherokee167433
Henry161325
Monroe153521
Randolph148236
Washington144027
Clay131050
Crenshaw126245
Macon124337
Cleburne123627
Lamar121324
Lowndes117636
Wilcox109422
Bullock105829
Perry100518
Conecuh98222
Sumter90828
Greene78323
Coosa64619
Choctaw52224
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