Surge in Omicron cases hits hospitals, schools and workforce hard


LOS ANGELES (TUSEN) – County health department officials have expressed concern that the percentage of COVID patients in intensive care units is now higher than it was during the Delta surge.

January 14, 2022 (TUSEN)

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COVID infections have taken their toll on schools, hospitals and the workforce.

On Friday, LA County Health said hospitalizations were rising sharply, with an average of 629 more people with COVID-19 admitted each day.

“…all [COVID patients] require resource-intensive precautions, including isolation rooms, cohort staff and PPE, and this continues to represent a substantial strain on the healthcare system, particularly in light of the staffing that is occurring in all of our hospitals,” LA County Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said.

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In the meantime, the emergency rooms are still overwhelmed. LA County said many hospitals are asking ambulances to divert elsewhere.

January 14, 2022

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The number of new infections in Ventura County is at an all-time high and nearly 25% of people tested there are testing positive for the coronavirus.

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At Adventist Health Simi Valley, chief medical officer Dr. John Dingilian said his emergency department was unusually busy.

“We have certainly seen a dramatic increase in the number of people coming in for COVID-related respiratory illnesses,” Dingilian said.

Staff shortages have also been a constraint. No less than 60 people, mostly nurses, were released at the same time from the Adventist hospital.

“For a smaller hospital, we’re a 144-bed hospital, that’s quite a staff, so that challenged us,” Dingilian said.

About a third of students at LAUSD schools missed the first days of classes after the winter break. About half of them tested positive. A teacher who spoke to TUSEN said a third of his students were absent from class and juggling online and in-person learning has been a challenge.

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Both Walgreens and CVS said they had to temporarily close some stores and pharmacies, or adjust hours, due to staff shortages.

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LA County on Friday also said that while it may seem like there’s not much one person can do to avoid catching COVID-19 right now, everyone should still take precautions. They want people to avoid non-essential gatherings for now, especially those indoors where there are many people.



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