Los Angeles Covid-19 Update: Total Deaths Top 10,000 in L.A. County Creating “Overflow Of Bodies From Hospitals”

On the same day that California reported by far its highest number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said that L.A. had breached its own grim threshold. On Wednesday, the county crossed 10,000 lives lost to Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Specifically, Los Angeles County recorded 274 deaths from the virus in the previous 24 hours for a total of 10,056.

The 14-day average number of daily deaths for the virus according to Ferrer was about 150. That’s “about equal to the number of deaths from all other causes, which is about 170,” said Ferrer.

What’s more, “The impact of this current surge is overwhelming our hospitals and and it is increasing deaths.” So it’s not just the virus, but the nightmare scenario of Angelenos dying because they cannot get the appropriate care from overwhelmed ICUs.

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“Some patients are waiting in ambulances because there is no space,” said L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis before revealing that, “Our medical examiner is receiving overflow of bodies from hospitals that are unable to store them.”

Given the amount of traveling and intermingling that have likely happened over the holidays, said Ferrer, “we need to be prepared for an increase on top of this increase.”

What’s more, at the top of a conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom revealed that the new, reportedly more infectious strain of Covid-19 first identified in the U.K. had been found in CA, specifically Southern California.

Newsom said he was informed “just about an hour ago” that the new strain had been found in the state. While the variation is much more infectious, it does not appear to be more deadly on a case-by-case basis, according to experts. Fauci said he wasn’t surprised that there was a case “and likely more cases in California.”

That, on top of the overflows and deaths described by L.A. County health officials, paints a very dark picture of the coming weeks in L.A.

“Many mortuaries across the county are filling up and they’re having trouble trying to make space,” said Dr. Christina Ghaly, who oversees the four county-run hospitals. “This is causing a backup of bodies at a variety of facilities across the entire county.” Ghaly said the county was “working with those facilities to try and come up with alternatives for storing those bodies.”

Also on Wednesday, the county reported 10,392 new cases. The lower number of daily new cases is probably due to the fact that testing centers were closed over Christmas, said Ferrer.

“There is a lot of community spread, and that makes it easier for this virus to keep spreading,” Ferrer said earlier this week. “So we’re all going to have to do everything we know how to do to contain the virus.”

“Please, do not go outside of your household to celebrate New Years Eve. If we don’t, then the beginning of 2021 will be worse than the ending of 2020,” said Dr. Ghaly.

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