Authorities postpone 911 ambulance diversions because Orange County hospitals are fed up with COVID-19 patients – NBC Los Angeles

After Orange County’s first frontline healthcare workers received the COVID-19 vaccine, another 23 deaths were reported and area hospitals have issued an unprecedented order to stop hospitals from diverting ambulances to other facilities by continuing to sabotage patient admission records.

On Wednesday, the county made 3,231 new diagnoses of COVID-19, collecting a total of 111,168 cases. The death toll, reported earlier Wednesday, rose to 1,718.

The 1,371 hospital admissions on Wednesday jumped to 1,486 from Tuesday, including 319 ICU patients, up from 296 the previous day. Both are new records – a daily event since last week.

The county’s ICU bed availability fell from 10.4% on Tuesday to 9.5% in the irrelevant category, and fell below 1.4% in the “adjusted” metric to zero. The state created an adjusted metric to show the difference in beds available for COVID-19 patients and non-coronavirus patients.

The percentage of available ICU beds in 11-County Southern California has dropped from 1.7% to 0.5%.

Late Wednesday, the Orange County Health Care Agency issued an order suspending the capacity of hospitals participating in the 911 system to request switching to ambulances at other medical centers. The agency’s EMS medical director, Dr. Carl Schultz said in a statement that the hospital’s emergency rooms were so overcrowded by the increase in COVID that “almost all hospitals were undergoing diversion.”

“If nothing was done, an ambulance would soon rush to hospitals that could take their patients.” “Therefore, we have temporarily suspended ambulance diversions. While this will create some additional stress on hospitals, it will spread this throughout the county and help alleviate the growing concern of finding hospital locations for ambulances.”

Schultz added: “To the best of our knowledge, this has never happened before.”

Orange County’s adjusted daily case rate per 100,000 rose from 30.3 to 42.7 on Tuesday, with the positivity rate rising from 10.6% to 13.2%. The county’s health equity quarter positivity rate, which measures cases in the most affected, needy parts of the county, rose to 18.8% from 16.2% last week.

The county is testing 526.8 per 100,000 population with a seven-day average with a seven-day interval, an all-time high.

All counties in the county now fall within the most restrictive purple layer of the state’s four-tiered coronavirus monitoring system.

A total of 38 deaths have been reported in Orange County since Sunday. Last week, the county reported fatal casualties compared to 411 and ૨ from in the previous two weeks.

Medical experts compare Pfizer and Moderna alternatives. Joel Grover reports for NBC4 News on Wednesday, December 16, 2020.

Most of the casualties reported since Friday were in the 75 and above category, but at least one was between 25 and 34 years old.

Earlier this month, the record for ICU patients in Orange County was 245 during the mid-July surge. Overall hospital admissions since December 2 are breaking records.

The county received the first shipment of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine Wednesday. About 25,000 doses were delivered.

Paul Sheikwitz, of Providence St. Joseph’s Hospital in Orange, who was among the first to receive the vaccine on Wednesday, told the City News Service that it was “quite difficult” to meet the surge in patients.

“The biggest challenge is the burden of the number of patients we see against the number of staff capable of caring for patients,” Schickwitz said. “Providence has done a wonderful job of expanding the service, but we’re probably within limits.”

The CEO of the hospital, Dr. Jeremy Zochche urged residents to stay home as much as possible, especially during the holidays.

“When (hospital caregivers) usually celebrate the holidays, they take extra shifts and work in unpredictable roles,” Zoch Che said. “Stay home. Stay safe and help us reduce the spread so we can take care of the community here.”

D count. Clayton Chow, director of the county’s health care agency and chief health officer, said, “We should all call on the community that we should not put our guards down now, when we are not close enough to reach the other side of the epidemic. Pulling together, never before. “

The latest increase in patients has been “very incredible,” Zoch said.

UCI Medical Center is one of at least three Orange County sites that will begin construction of a mobile field hospital as an addition to the coronavirus case. Annette Areola reports for Today in L.A. on Wednesday, December 16, 2020.

“Last summer, when we had a surge in July, we had the National Guard to help here … but, to be honest, this surge is 75% more patients than the last surge.” “Zoch Che said.” Challenged us. “

Zoch Che said his hospital’s ICU bed “is really close to perfect … we are lucky to have CHOC Children and we have talked to them about providing space to use if needed.”

Port. Stephanie Chao, director of pharmaceutical services at Hog Memorial Hospital Presbyterian on Newport Beach, said she pulled a large truck to deliver the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine Wednesday morning.

“I know our department is working hard … and supporting each other that day.” “We think Hoga has worked hard to prepare the weather for the various upheavals. We have a place where we can and are already activating, so as an organization we are just working hard,” said Chao. Yes, we are doing everything we can … some days we just run on adrenaline and hope there is some light at the end of the tunnel.Workers, we keep going because that’s all we can do.

County health officials are struggling to keep up, especially the demented elderly, who are infected and do not show symptoms, Chao said.

“We can’t send him to the hospital … he doesn’t need that level of care,” Chao told a board of supervisors meeting on Tuesday. And we can’t send them to a nursing facility … and we can’t send them to a hotel. “

Those patients will likely be housed at the Costa Costa Mesa’s Fairview Development Center, which is expected to open on Thursday. “But we only have 50 beds available,” Chow said. “We will provide options for caring for these people.”

The Chinese man entered in July, went into a coma and was on a ventilator. Vicky Vargas reported on NBC4News on Wednesday, December 16, 2020.

“I’ll lose sleep every night,” he said. “I’m scared. … I’ve never been scared of Christmas and New Year in my whole life … I can’t even imagine what it will be like after the holidays if people don’t listen and follow.”

The governor’s latest sanctions are set to run until at least December 27, but with the increase in cases and patients, “I don’t think we can get out of it,” Chou said.

Supervisor Doug Chaffey said he received a text message Monday night from a medical professional at St. Jude’s Medical Center in Fullerton indicating that the hospital is at “99% capacity”.

The hospital’s 301 beds are filled with 138 Kovid-19 patients, Chefi said.

“The ICU is at 105% capacity,” he said. “They’re using every available bed. There’s an overflow in the emergency department … all the Orange County hospitals are in the same situation. It’s horrible, so they’ll be pitching tents in the parking lot soon. I think that’s what we’re seeing.” There is no increase, but there is a tsunami. “

To meet the need, mobile field hospitals are also being set up and will have large trailers and canvas tiles with rigid flooring and temperature-controlled units that have running water, toilets, showers and generators as well as air purification facilities.

Fountain Valley Regional Hospital will get 50 beds, St. Jude will get 25 beds and UC Irwin Medical Center will get 50 beds in Orange.

The outbreak, which began last week in the county’s jails, has now infected 627 inmates, up from 616 on Monday. The county is awaiting the results of 86 more tests.

Sheriff Don Barnes, who previously banned testing until newly booked inmates who show any symptoms or come in contact with an infected person, will now examine everyone in the prison, department spokeswoman Carrie Brun said. “Prisoners who test positive are restricted to a single cell instead of being isolated, and they are kept separate from each other while awaiting test results,” he said.

A record number of deaths and new cases have been reported in the county. Patrick Haley reported on NBC4News on Wednesday, December 16, 2020.

Barnes, meanwhile, has been ordered by an Orange Range County Superior Court judge to halve his prison population by Friday, meaning 1,800 inmates could be released under house arrest or under ankle-bangle inspection or simply completely.

County supervisors unanimously voted for an outside adviser to help Barnes in a legal dispute with the American Civil Liberties Union, which claims to reduce the prison population. Supervisors voted to sue the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to challenge the indictment department for those convicted from the county jail during the epidemic.

The county also works with the aim of bursting into skilled nursing and supportive living facilities. As of Tuesday, 32 skilled nursing facilities had two or more confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 36 auxiliary living facilities had two or more cases.

County officials have been asked to provide personal protective equipment, more training or staff to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their facilities, where the main cause of the spread is potential employees who have contracted the virus off-site, Kim said.