Orange County rolls out mobile field hospitals to handle surge in COVID-19 patients


Orange County continues to set new information for coronavirus diagnoses and hospitalizations, whereas county officers have rolled out cellular area hospitals to deal with the surge in sufferers.

The county logged 2,173 new COVID-19 infections Tuesday, elevating the cumulative case whole to 107,937.

Hospitalizations jumped from 1,287 Monday to 1,371, together with 296 ICU sufferers, up from 288 yesterday. Each are new information — a each day prevalence since final week.

The county obtained its first cargo of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine Wednesday — anticipated to whole about 25,000 doses, in accordance with Orange County CEO Frank Kim.

RELATED: Orange County sheriff, DA fighting order to reduce jail population amid COVID-19 surge

A handful of healthcare employees at Saint Joseph Hospital in Orange obtained the county’s first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 Wednesday, and prime county leaders are anticipated to announce extra particulars about vaccine distribution.

Nurses are respiratory therapists had been among the many first to be inoculated in O.C. Names had been pulled from a jar that contained an inventory of eligible employees, these at highest dangers, at Saint Joseph.

Hoag Hospital in Newport Seaside obtained almost 2,000 doses, and almost 4,000 photographs had been delivered to UCI Medical Middle in Orange.

Whereas preventing again tears, the county’s chief well being officer and director of the Orange County Well being Care Company thanked frontline employees.

“I salute our healthcare skilled who’ve bravely stepped into the battle in opposition to coronavirus for risking your life — and never solely your life, however the lifetime of your loved ones — to be sure you handle the neighborhood,” stated Dr. Clayton Chau. “I need you to know that we deeply respect the work that you just do.”

Subsequent week, the county is anticipated to obtain a further 17,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

OC’s ICU mattress availability elevated from 9.3% Monday to 10.4% within the unadjusted class, and elevated from zero to 1.4% within the “adjusted” metric the state created to mirror the distinction in beds out there for COVID-19 sufferers and non-coronavirus sufferers.

The 11-county Southern California area’s proportion of obtainable ICU beds stands at 1.7%.

Orange County’s adjusted each day case price per 100,000 rose Tuesday from 30.3 final week to 42.7, with the positivity price rising from 10.6% to 13.2%. The county’s Well being Fairness Quartile Positivity Charge, which measures the instances in extremely affected, needier components of the county, rose from 16.2% final week to 18.8%.

The county is testing 526.8 per 100,000 on a 7-day common with a 7-day lag, which is an all-time excessive.

The entire county’s metrics now fall throughout the state’s most-restrictive purple tier of the state’s four-tier coronavirus monitoring system.

One new fatality was reported Tuesday in Orange County, mountaineering the dying toll to 1,695. On Sunday, 14 COVID-19 fatalities had been reported. Final week, the county reported 62 fatalities, up from 41 and 26, respectively, within the two earlier weeks.

Many of the fatalities reported since Friday had been within the 75 and older class, however a minimum of one was 25 to 34 years previous.

Previous to this month, the report for ICU sufferers in Orange County was 245 throughout a mid-July surge. General hospitalizations have been breaking information each day since Dec. 2.

As has been the case for months, dozens of residents appealed to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to disregard the state’s stay-at-home order and railed about face coverings. Orange County counsel Leon Web page defined that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s government order is the ultimate say on the stay-at-home order and county can not do something to alter it.

Chau made an emotional attraction to residents to stick to bodily distancing and face-covering mandates.

“The one factor we all know is individuals ought to keep at dwelling when sick, don’t combine households and put on a masks, and do all of the cleansing measures like washing arms, and so forth.,” Chau stated. “That is the one factor that works.”

Chau speculated that new remedies have maybe helped hold many of the hospitalized sufferers out of intensive care.

“However persons are nonetheless ending up within the hospital and nonetheless in ICU,” Chau stated. “With out all these newly accepted therapy choices the variety of these in ICU would in all probability be worse.”

RELATED: Dozens of OC residents voice frustration over stay-home orders

County well being officers are notably combating housing the aged with dementia, who’re contaminated and don’t exhibit signs, Chau stated.

“We won’t ship them to a hospital… They do not want that degree of care,” Chau stated. “And we will not ship them to a nursing facility… and we will not ship them to a resort.”

These sufferers will doubtless be housed at Fairview Developmental Middle in Costa Mesa, which is anticipated to open on Thursday.

“However we solely have the supply of fifty beds,” Chau stated. “We will run out of choices to handle these individuals.”

“I lose sleep each evening,” Chau stated. “I’m afraid. … I’ve by no means been so afraid of Christmas and New 12 months’s in my complete life … I am unable to think about what it will be like after the vacations if individuals do not hear and do not comply.”

Dec. 27 was the day the county might emerge from the governor’s newest restrictions, however with the surge in instances and sufferers, Chau stated, “I do not assume we are able to get out of it.”

Supervisor Doug Chaffee stated he obtained a textual content message from a medical skilled at St. Jude Medical Middle on Monday evening that indicated the hospital is at “99% capability.”

The hospital’s 301 beds are full with 138 COVID-19 sufferers, Chaffee stated.

“The ICU is at 105% capability,” Chaffee stated. “They’re utilizing each out there mattress. The emergency division has an overflow … All of the Orange County hospitals are in the identical state of affairs. It’s dire, so that they’ll quickly be erecting a tent within the parking zone, in all probability for triage. I believe what we’re seeing is just not a surge, however a tsunami.”

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccine: ABC News/Ipsos poll shows support for getting inoculated, but divide on timing

Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett stated emergency rooms and ICUs within the county “are getting overwhelmed, not simply in our county, however different counties.”

Bartlett blamed numerous forms of gatherings of individuals not sporting face coverings for the current surge in instances.

“Our well being care system might simply be overwhelmed at this level,” Bartlett stated. “No matter we have to do to message about gatherings, we actually must drive dwelling that message to the general public. We now have to gradual the unfold of COVID-19 inside our county.”

Chau added, “The message could be very easy. In the US right this moment, each minute there’s two individuals who have died in the US of COVID-19. Each minute we speak somebody misplaced a liked one … It’s an astounding quantity and simply an embarrassing quantity from an American perspective as a result of we’re purported to be the very best in what now we have in medical care … Don’t collect at dwelling … Don’t hang around with pals … since you not solely infect them, however they’ll infect different individuals. … You may get collectively socially by means of Zoom or Skype or FaceTime.”

Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do appealed to state officers to acknowledge that among the stay-at-home orders have been proven by research to not be efficient, main residents to acts of civil disobedience. Do pointed to a research of 98 million individuals from the journal Nature that confirmed no proof that out of doors eating contributes to the unfold of the virus.

“May or not it’s that now we have increased charges due to easy fatigue that comes with a coverage that’s not supported by science and doesn’t essentially save us from something, however imposes heavy private and financial stress on the neighborhood that causes individuals to really feel hopeless, there is no such thing as a means out, so it doesn’t matter what they do they’re going to be damned so, due to this fact, who cares?” Do requested.

“I’m absolutely supportive of the issues we have to do on the well being aspect to guard individuals and I share the fervour that you need to shield the general public,” Do stated. “However (state officers) want to have the ability to articulate higher as to why these specific measures work when now we have a research that claims clearly the other.”

Do, whose father died unexpectedly over the weekend, famous the congestion of sufferers he noticed within the hospital the place his father was handled.

“I can let you know from private remark each single mattress was taken,” Do stated. “As I contacted funeral properties for my father they stated their enterprise has elevated by 300% this 12 months. The wait time and lack of availability of providers whether or not they’re for viewings or cremation it’s unbelievable. They’ve by no means seen that form of shortage earlier than.”

To deal with the necessity, cellular area hospitals are being arrange and will probably be housed in giant trailers and embody canvas tents with arduous flooring and temperature-controlled items that function working water, bogs, showers and mills in addition to air purifiers.

Fountain Valley Regional Hospital will get 50 extra beds, St. Jude’s in Fullerton will obtain 25 beds and UC Irvine will get 50 beds.

An outbreak within the county’s jails, which began final week, now has 412 inmates contaminated, down from 416 reported Monday, stated Carrie Braun of the Orange County Sheriff’s Division.

“The overwhelming majority are asymptomatic,” Braun stated, including that many of the contaminated inmates are housed on the Theo Lacy jail in Orange and the lads’s Central Jail in Santa Ana.

Sheriff Don Barnes, who had earlier saved testing restricted to newly booked inmates, anybody exhibiting signs, or these uncovered to an contaminated particular person, will now search to check everybody within the jails, Braun stated. Inmates who take a look at constructive are restricted to a single cell in remoted standing, and any others uncovered are being quarantined collectively as they await take a look at outcomes, Braun stated.

The sheriff is awaiting outcomes of 276 extra assessments.

In the meantime, Barnes has been ordered by an Orange County Superior Courtroom choose to cut back his jail inhabitants by half by Friday, that means 1,800 inmates might be launched to dwelling confinement or ankle-bracelet monitoring or simply absolutely let out.

The county supervisors unanimously voted to rent exterior counsel to assist Barnes within the authorized wrestle with the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued to cut back the jail inhabitants. The supervisors additionally voted to sue the California Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation to problem the division’s to tackle convicted felons from the county’s jails throughout the pandemic.

The county can be coping with an uptick in outbreaks at expert nursing and assisted dwelling services. As of Tuesday, 32 expert nursing services have had two or extra confirmed instances of COVID-19, and 36 assisted dwelling services had two or extra instances.

County officers have been requested to offer private protecting gear, extra coaching or staffing to assist curb the unfold of COVID-19 in these services, the place the principle motive for the unfold is probably going from workers who contract the virus off-site, Kim stated.

Metropolis Information Service contributed to this report.

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