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California hospitals struggling as coronavirus cases explode

Virus Outbreak California
Posted at 2:43 PM, Dec 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-19 14:43:12-05

LOS ANGELES — California hospitals are battling to find beds to house patients amid fears that the exploding coronavirus infection rate will exhaust resources and health care workers.

Nearly 17,000 people were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infections — more than double the previous peak reached in July.

One state model estimates that number could reach 75,000 by mid-January.

Hospitals around the state are putting patients where they can to free up ICU beds, including using tents for emergency room overflows.

Top government infectious-disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci says some areas of California are “just right at that cusp of getting overrun.”

COVID-19 Precautions

Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.

COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.

Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.