Several LA County hospitals declare ‘internal disasters’ as pandemic deepens – By David Rosenfeld & Olg Grigoryants (The Daily Breeze) / January 4 2021
Officials got word that additional testing centers, however, would open in the region and that sites shut down for the holidays were reopening — including the mammoth Dodger Stadium facility, which rolled out improvements aimed at smoothing out the process and easing traffic.
With Los Angeles County health officials projecting that January would become the worst month yet of the worsening pandemic, several local hospitals declared “internal disasters” over the weekend.
That status can be triggered by extreme conditions that could put patients at risk, such as severe staffing shortages or an overflow of patients during a natural disaster — and can mean hospital doors are closed to all ambulances. So far, however, no local hospital has needed to declare that it was operating under crisis care guidelines, a more severe declaration that can lead to rationing.
“Every day it just grows and grows,” Health Services Director Christina Ghaly said on Monday, Jan. 4, describing waves of new coronavirus patients topping 800 per day. Hundreds of patients are discharged daily, she said, but the rate can’t keep pace with new admissions, forcing local hospital officials to make increasingly tough decisions. In all, 7,898 patients are being treated at the county’s hospitals, 1,627 of them in intensive care units, according to the state.