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Hospitals Brace For The Crush Of New Cases As Coronavirus Spreads

View of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Gabriel Bouys/AFP via Getty Images)
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Los Angeles County officials reported the biggest jump in new COVID-19 cases today, bringing the total to 144.

There are about 100 hospitals spread across the county, and they’re all doing what they can to prepare for the rising case numbers.

Dr. Christina Ghaly, with the L.A. County’s Department of Health Services, says they’re all implementing disaster plans. Among them:

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“Discharging patients when safe to do so, bringing in additional staffing resources, limiting or canceling elective procedures and admissions.”

Hospitals are also putting up tents to screen patients, and ramping up video appointments.

Another big effort by hospital officials? Telling people only to use the ER for emergencies:

“It is imperative that we preserve the hospital system and the 911 emergency response system for those who truly need it.”

As of Tuesday, Ghaly says that countywide there are about:
  • 650 ventilators (but officials are working to get more)
  • 2,220 ICU beds
  • 150 ICU beds currently available.