California counts the dead by the hour as its I.C.U.s fill up.

Simply two weeks in the past, Gov. Gavin Newsom warned Californians that the state’s intensive care beds is likely to be full earlier than Christmas.

Now, it seems that this dire projection is being borne out.

How unhealthy is the coronavirus surge in California?

In Los Angeles County, officers say, a mean of two people are dying every hour. And one in each 80 individuals there’s considered contaminated.

“Our hospitals are beneath siege, and our fashions present no finish in sight,” Dr. Christina Ghaly, the director of well being companies in Los Angeles County, said on Thursday.

Statewide, California reported 3 percent availability of I.C.U. beds on Thursday.

However the issue is most extreme within the southern a part of the state. Throughout the month, Dr. Ghaly stated, the variety of sufferers requiring I.C.U. care in Los Angeles County “may simply exceed” the two,500 licensed grownup beds by 1,000 or extra.

California continues to shatter records. On Thursday, the state reported greater than 45,000 new instances and over 260 deaths. That made it the second-worst day by way of each day reported instances and the third-worst for a single-day dying toll.

And it’s hardly alone. Greater than a 3rd of Individuals stay in areas the place hospitals are working critically in need of intensive care beds, federal knowledge present. A latest New York Times analysis discovered that 10 p.c of Individuals — throughout a big swath of the Midwest, South and Southwest — stay in areas the place I.C.U.’s are both fully full or have beneath 5 p.c of beds obtainable.

The full variety of confirmed infections in the USA because the pandemic started handed 17.2 million on Thursday, simply 5 days after eclipsing the 16-million mark. There have been at the very least 310,900 deaths. On Thursday alone, there have been at the very least 238,100 new instances and at the very least 3,290 new deaths reported.

In California, the authorities have ordered an extra 5,000 body bags, activated an assist community for morgues and coroner’s places of work, and stationed 60 refrigerated storage models in counties across the state to deal with stays. Well being officers in Orange County stated they might roll out three field hospitals.

Hospitals are significantly overwhelmed in San Joaquin Valley, the place many low-wage important employees stay with out good entry to well being care even in the most effective of instances.

Even the Bay Space, which for a time managed to stave off the worst of the surge, has not been spared. I.C.U. capability there has dropped beneath 15 p.c, resulting in a new regional stay-at-home order.

The ever-climbing numbers are all of the extra demoralizing for Californians, as a result of they’ve endured a number of the most stringent pandemic restrictions within the nation. However well being officers stated that now greater than ever, they should hold hunkering down.

”It’s going to be a wild journey most likely for an additional 4, 5 – 6 weeks,” stated Dr. Nancy Gin, Kaiser Permanente’s medical director for Southern California. She urged Californians to remain dwelling and never give in to temptation to journey as the vacations close to.

The arrival of vaccinations has buoyed individuals’s spirits, however many well being care employees are exhausted.

“It’s actually laborious to place all of it into phrases,” stated Helen Cordova, an I.C.U. nurse who was the first person in California to obtain a vaccine shot. “This can be a very actual illness — these photos of within hospitals, that’s very correct.”

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