|As of July 7|
(Voice of OC)
Younger people hit hard as Orange County sets coronavirus record -- For the first time, Orange County residents reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day, with young people accounting for the bulk of new infections. Sara Cardine, Colleen Shalby, Rong-Gong Lin II in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/7/20
Orange County coronavirus hospitalizations are now rising faster than at any other point in the pandemic, with patient counts jumping closer to levels where hospitals could go further into “crisis care” surge measures like converting waiting areas and tents into treatment rooms, according to county health officials.
As of Sunday, OC hospitals reported having 634 [latest count: 659] current patients with coronavirus, more than double the 292 people hospitalized as of June 1. ... If hospitalization counts keep rising at the current rate, by early next week there would be over 750 coronavirus patients in local hospitals, which is one of several key sets of numbers county officials and hospitals are monitoring for activating hospital surge plans called “crisis care strategies.”
Those strategies include steps like converting normal hospital rooms into intensive care units; expanding beds by adding them to surge tents, conference rooms and waiting areas that would be converted to treatment areas; adding staffing by switching to longer shifts; canceling elective procedures; and further rationing of personal protective equipment.
The 750-patient guideline “is one of several important factors to monitor, and it is a consideration that numbers are getting to a point that stresses the system,” said Dr. Gagandeep Grewal, associate medical director of emergency medical services at the OC Health Care Agency, in an emailed response to Voice of OC’s questions last week....
...“[I]f in two weeks our hospitalized cases go up by a factor of 1.8, to a level of 740, we will still consider that to be very concerning and would not wait until the doubling time worsens or the [daily number of coronavirus patients] tops 750,” Grewal said in a July 2 written answer to questions.
“It’s very worrisome,” said Dr. Paul Yost, chairman of CalOptima, Orange County’s public health insurance plan for people with low or no incomes, regarding patient counts rising now more quickly.
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Hospital leaders are urging the public to wear face coverings, stay away from large gatherings, and to keep physical distancing as much as possible.
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…[F]or weeks, Orange County’s top elected official, supervisors’ Chairwoman Michelle Steel, started the county’s weekly coronavirus news conferences by painting a rosy picture of OC’s coronavirus data, falsely saying it’s better than all of the surrounding counties.
In fact, the county’s own data showed hospitalization and death rates in Orange County were worsening and outpacing neighboring counties in recent weeks.
The day after Voice of OC published an article last Wednesday about her misrepresentations of the rates, Steel acknowledged the higher coronavirus rates in her weekly update last Thursday, noting a recent meeting she had with hospital executives.
And on Monday, Steel called on the public to wear face coverings and practice physical distancing….