(Editor’s note: A resident and Circling the News reader Neven Karlovac researched the following piece. He said, “I write these things mostly to understand myself and then to share with friends and I’m happy to share with your readers.”)
ICU Capacity Prior to Covid:
According to Forbes, California in 2018 had 2.1 ICU beds per 10,000 inhabitants— 22% less than the national average of 2.7 beds. Less than any other state where we have lived: Tennessee 3.5, North Carolina 3.2, Texas 2.6 and Massachusetts 2.3. FORBES STORY
Current ICU Bed Availability in Los Angeles County:
It is miserable according to the attached report from the Department of Health Services. However, it isn’t a surprise or, rather, shouldn’t be a surprise: a steady trend over the last nine months predicted that the county will run out of ICU beds in the first quarter of 2021. Apparently not much if anything was done in all that time to increase the ICU capacity.
Availability of Vaccines and Other Critical Equipment and Supplies
According to the same report and the vaccination status website from Bloomberg which I have sent you before, the situation is good to excellent. The manufacturing industry and trade are meeting the needs and the distribution to states is working well.
As of January 4, California has used only 28 percent of vaccines received. Many healthcare workers in LA are declining to be vaccinated according to a December 31 article in the LA Times (“Some Healthcare Workers Refuse to Take COVID-19 Vaccine, Even with Priority Access” https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-12-31/healthcare-workers-refuse-covid-19-vaccine-access).
The next day the L.A. Times wrote “The Slow Vaccine Rollout Distribution of COVID-19 vaccine has been slower than anticipated across the United States, and California is no exception.
Only about 35% of the 1.3 million doses that have arrived in the state have been administered so far, a rate Gov. Gavin Newsom acknowledged was “not good enough” as he pledged new funding and efforts aimed at ramping up the rollout.”
Nationally, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 34 percent “can’t wait” to be vaccinated with the majority being doubtful or hostile.
Daily New Cases in California
Cases peaked just before Christmas and has been declining since then, down 14 percent. I am keeping my fingers crossed.