Hospitals are getting filled up

MASKS, sanitizers and social distancing are weapons in the battle against the coronavirus (Shutterstock).

Hospitals and intensive care units across Orange County and neighboring counties are filling up as a surge in the coronavirus and the arrival of vaccines engage in a mortal race.

According to the county health care agency, the adjusted availability of intensive care beds in the Southern California Region (which includes Orange County) is at zero, with the unadjusted figure at 11.4 percent. A minimum of 15 percent is the goal.

Although Orange County’s statistics for Thursday showed a decrease in new cases and deaths, the number of persons hospitalized with coronavirus continues to rise, as does the total of persons in ICU units.

According to the county health care agency, cases declined to 2,615 from 3,231 the day before. Deaths dropped from 23 to 13. However, hospitalizations rose to 1,519 from 1,486 and ICU patients increased from 319 to 343.

To help slow the spread of coronavirus, Dr. Clayton Chau, the county health officer and director of the Orange County Health Care Agency, on Wednesday urged residents to adhere to basic precautions, asking them to “do their part to slow the spread of this virus.”

“While hope is on the horizon with today’s arrival of 25,350 doses of the Pfizer-manufactured COVID-19 vaccine for high-risk hospital workers, OC residents are strongly encouraged to practice” preventative measures including mask-wearing, hand-washing and socially distancing.

He also emphasized “it is safest to celebrate the holidays with people who already live with you.”

Here is the list of OC cities with the most cases. Deaths are in parentheses.

  • Santa Ana: 22,570 (349)
  • Anaheim: 19,262 (371)
  • Garden Grove: 6,989 (123)
  • Orange: 5,450 (78)
  • Fullerton: 5,343 (129)
  • Huntington Beach: 4,622 (94)

Westminster has 2,887 cases and 38 deaths. Stanton has 1,428 cases and 18 deaths.


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