Covid-19 Local Situation: Calif Short Hospital Beds – LA County Buys 20,000 Tests (Population 10,000,000) – Hospitals Urge Mild Cases To Forget Tests – Ventura County Mask Shortage Dire

Written by on March 24, 2020

California is short about 70,000 hospital beds.

That’s the latest estimate from the governor.

The state was also short 1 billion protective gloves and hundreds of millions of masks, the governor said.

The pace of testing remains stubbornly slow in California. New York State, with half the population, has conducted twice as many tests for the virus as the Golden State.

As of Monday, New York has tested 78,289 people, including 33,000 in New York City.

Statewide, California had conducted 26,400 tests by Sunday, the most recent data available.

The governor announced he has chartered flights to China to procure protective equipment.

Newsom also expressed concern for smaller states that might not have the same purchasing power.

The governors warns that that America could be just days behind Italy, where the virus has claimed thousands of lives.

California has rushed to reopen hospitals that had been shuttered, buy motels to house the state’s more than 150,000 homeless people, and retrofit college dormitories to serve as hospital wards.

Newsom has conferred with Elon Musk, the head of the electric carmaker Tesla, and Tim Cook, the head of Apple. The two executives, along with the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, have announced separately that their companies would give a total of 2 million protective masks to the state. Mr. Musk vowed to produce 1,000 ventilators, according to Mr. Newsom.’

This story is based on reporting by the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.


Officials in Los Angeles County announced on Monday that the county had procured 20,000 extra tests but said they were prioritizing them for health care workers and the very sick.

The city of Los Angeles does not have a health department.

L-A is testing its own resources to test workers who are symptomatic, including emergency medical workers on the Police and Fire Departments, health care workers, and those trying to get homeless people into shelters and take their temperatures.

A city-run drive-through test center was set up near Dodger Stadium.


Hospitals have been told by L A County that broad-scale testing is not available.

Hospitals are directed to focus testing only the most severe cases: patients who are already hospitalized and showing symptoms of Covid-19; residents and staff members of long-term care facilities who have symptoms; and health care workers who have been in contact with patients and have come down sick.

“Persons with mild respiratory symptoms who do not otherwise need medical care and who are not in one of the above groups should not be routinely tested for Covid-19,” according to a letter from the state.


In Ventura County …  officials are worried that they do not have enough swabs to conduct even this rationed testing for very long.

County drive-through clinics are down to about 100 swabs each.

The hospitals need to conserve the limited supply they have.

Ventura County Medical Center is in relatively good shape in terms of space to accommodate the expected influx of patients because it recently built a new hospital building to meet strict state earthquake requirements.

The old building can quickly be brought back to accommodate overflow.

They do not have enough hopsital beds.

Cots and repurposed elective-surgery gurneys are among the options under consideration.

The shortage of N-95 and surgical masks is dire in Ventura.

Hospital officials are looking to the community to supply handmade masks and equipment.

One nurse’s son is using his 3-D printer to make plastic face and eye shields for distribution.

A sewing circle is sewing cloth masks from a pattern developed in consultation with the hospital’s medical personnel and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

150 people are making with the sewing machines … and delivering the finished masks to a local trauma nurse in charge of quality control.

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