California, Los Angeles Times, Kqed discussed on Forum
Low forties around the bay Tonight, it's KQED public radio. This is form. I'm Arianna Trail in for Meena Kim. Yesterday, California reported more than 62,000 new cases of covert 19, another daily record. Strain on hospitals is worsening across the state with fears that people gathering for Christmas and New Year's holidays could bring another surge in the coming weeks. Joining me now with the latest news is Sonia Carla Mangal, a staff writer covering health care for the Los Angeles Times. Welcome back to form Sonja first. Thanks for having me and listeners If you have questions or comments, email us at form at kqed dot org's or post them on Twitter and Facebook. Where at KQED form we just have Sonja Carla Manga, Carl among glow with us for about 10 minutes. So if you have your questions and comments, please get them in now. So MIA, Let's just start with what is the picture like in California right now, in terms of ICU capacity. No, it's pretty bleak throughout the state. We just start running out really quickly. If I see you beds, California in general just doesn't have a lot of hospital beds compared to other states per capita And so work first, starting with an uneven playing field. And every day we get these updates on how different parts of the state are doing how many ICU beds they have left and The San Joaquin Valley and the Southern California region, which is you know, the biggest region in the state have both been at 0% capacity for the past five days, probably and that's continuing on today. It seems on doctor you spoke to at an L. A County hospital says they foresee having to start rationing care by early January. What would that look like? Yeah, it's kind of the worst case scenario. We got this document that the public hospitals and health in Los Angeles County circulated to all their physicians last month because they knew this was going to happen or it could happen. And the document basically goes over what you do if you get to this scenario where it's not really the third, they think there won't be enough ventilators, which is kind of what we thought in the spring. It's that there may be won't be enough. I see you nurses, critical care physicians. And so how do you make those decisions? Do you give the nurse 10 patients to take care of? So they're scrambling or do you put you know a doctor that's not really trained to take care of a patient on a ventilator on assigned them to those patients, So it's like The sort of take away is that you can ration the care or distribute the care when it's this scarce, however you want, but the ultimate result is that the quality of care declines. And that's where also, staff have to make some difficult choices in terms of which cases to continue treating, and others to maybe not devote as much treatments that might otherwise treat. Is that right? Yeah, so they have to kind of do an analysis on like, you know, as things air progressing, they have tol look at okay. These are the patients that we have. What is this person's chance of surviving Who's going tol who's most likely to survive with this treatment? And if they give someone a treatment, and it helps them And they'll keep giving them that treatment. But if they get some treatment, and within two days, it's not helping them. You know, the guidelines say that they are supposed to stop and give it to someone who maybe it would have a better chance of saving. So they're these really tough. Decisions that no one wants to make. And what are the estimates of how many people who contract over 19 will need hospitalization? And of those how many would need an ICU bed? So it fluctuates a little bit, because well because of how much testing we're doing, But in general in California, it's 12% of people who test positive need to be in the hospital. I think that number has gone down a little bit recently. Because we just have had a lot of people but getting tested. Maybe it's around 10%. And then about 12% of those people need icy level care. So with the huge numbers of people testing positive You know, every day in the past two weeks, you can see that our hospital hospitalization numbers. Think of your nuisance said could increase sixfold from what it is now by the end of January. And what do we know about the temporary field hospitals being set up in different parts of the states that help with these overflow patients? I think the issue with those is staffing that we don't necessarily have enough stuff who can come help work on those hospitals? Some of them, I think, come with their own stuff, But to set up extra facilities is useful to a degree. But when you have a shortage of staffing already, and you have these surges across the country that makes it really difficult to bring in staffing from other parts of the country, too. This is you know, in the spring, we had a big surge in New York and so people could go to New York. But now they're searches everywhere. And so California doesn't have. They're just not as much flexibility with getting People on the ground. And what else are you hearing from health care providers. How are they feeling about what's happening and what's potentially to come? We seem to be way beyond you know, feeling concerned, right? Yeah, I mean, everyone I have talked to recently sounds like like, describes a scene in the hospital. That sounds a little bit like people running around with their heads chopped off like there's just so much anxiety, stress panic. They just don't Know how they're going to handle this number of patients, and then they look at the case numbers and they feel even more worried because you know the 11,000 people in L. A county that tested positive yesterday. Are nowhere near needing hospital carrier. So I think people are really stressed. They don't want to. They don't want Los Angeles or any other parts of California to become like what happened in New York and has happened in other parts of the country. But it does seem like that's where this is headed. And I know just in in preparation for speaking with you. I did look at Los Angeles Times story. That's a photographic story that really shows goes inside and I see you And I really encourage our listeners to Tucek out that story as well. It's really sobering to see the images and I think we can post that on our Web post for the show. It's really sobering to see inside the ICU in terms of the scope of what these healthcare providers are dealing with on a daily basis now and just imagining that it could Just go up from there. Yeah, the images like make it look, It just looks on real because they're wearing so much gear, And there's just so much precautions. It looks like they're wearing like space suits, just the amount of protection that they have on. On and Yeah, it's just I don't know what's gonna happen in the next few weeks is not something that we've ever seen before. And what are some of those kind of where are those numbers Trending right now, In terms of where do we stand with? Um, death to covert 19 and the state and an overall cases. Yeah, So we have around 20,000 deaths a little bit over 20,000 deaths. But what's really alarming is how quickly those numbers are changing. So on In mid November, we logged a million cases of the Corona virus throughout the course of the pandemic in California, so that took us Some eight months to hit on board this week. If our numbers continue, which at the pace that they are, which I imagine they will, around Christmas day, we should hit two million, so that means that It took us eight months to get a million cases and six weeks to hit another million s. Oh, that's just incredible. Like he, You know, California throughout the panda, Michael's had a lower rate of pieces elaborated deaths than the rest of them most almost any other state. But the rates that we have now are putting us among the worst states. I think California has the second highest rate of cases of any state. In the country right now, you know that if you just look over the past week, so we're we're sort of at risk of losing our lead if you will, which is, you know, really alarming because that means undoubtably more people in the hospital and that death toll create starts to sort of creep up a month after the cases, and so we're only now just seeing the beginning of that. The result of all of these new cases and think last week we broke our our death toll, and we're now logging about 233 deaths a day in California, so it's just it's I mean, it's really, really bad. And as a result, Newsome said he's likely to extend stay at home orders for Southern California in San Joaquin Valley that are set to expire in the next week. Um So, um, your color manga. You also wrote a story about the high prevalence of coronavirus among grocery workers, which illustrates the challenges of fighting the pandemic. You know, people need.