Support for LAist comes from
True LA stories, powered by you
Stay Connected

Share This

News

Kaiser Permanente Doctor: ‘We’re Overwhelmed’ By This Coronavirus Surge

5ef7a0cc21ab3e000af8a2b2-eight.jpg
A nurse adjusts her personal protective equipment (PPE) before caring for a COVID-19 patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Our reporting is free for everyone, but it’s not free to make.
LAist only exists with reader support. If you're in a position to give, your donation powers our reporters and keeps us independent.

The number of beds available in intensive care units across Southern California has been hovering just north of 10% for the last few days.

In San Bernardino County, it actually hit zero this weekend, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard, and hospital staffers across the area are feeling the pain.

Here's Dr. Alex McDonald, who practices family medicine at the Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center:

“Our resources are being stretched so thin and we are just being overwhelmed. The wait time in the ER is mind boggling, and we’ve run out of beds upstairs in the hospital, so patients are sort of boarding in the ER.”

The hospital has received special licensing to convert some single rooms to double occupancies so more patients can move through the system.
Support for LAist comes from

“There are patients everywhere you look,” said McDonald, speaking on our local news and culture show, Take Two. But the biggest issue is the physical and emotional well-being of the medical staff, because “health care workers are being stretched to their capacity,” he said.

On the positive side, McDonald said he and his colleagues have enough personal protective equipment and other basics to help get through this surge.

For its part, Kaiser Permanente said it has continued to refine its plans throughout the course of the pandemic in response to the changing conditions, including the ability to quickly monitor supplies and resupply medical centers, as needed.

McDonald implored everyone to do their part to curb the spread of this virus:

“Everyone needs to act like they have coronavirus all the time to protect everyone around them — and its those small social gathgerings where people let their guards down that seem to be the real driver of this surge.”

Support for LAist comes from
LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW:

Our news is free on LAist. To make sure you get our coverage: Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter. To support our nonprofit public service journalism: Donate now.