LOS ANGELES (CNS) - City Councilman Paul Koretz introduced a motion today to have the Emergency Management Department and county Department of Public Health report on emergency plans in the event there's a shortage of hospital beds, medical professionals and personal protective equipment due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.
Koretz said the report should highlight worst-case scenarios so that they can be averted with strong action. The councilman also asked that relevant city departments streamline all permitting necessary for any temporary emergency medical facilities to address the COVID surge, including street closures, erection of tents and use of lots.
“While L.A. County's hospitals were at approximately 75% capacity as of Saturday and the hospitals believe they are adequately resourced, if the steep rise in overall cases continues along its current trajectory, they will likely run out of beds in two to four weeks, beginning with the least-resourced facilities,'' Koretz said.
“A bed shortage also impacts the treatment of patients with all other serious and potentially fatal illnesses and accidents, including heart attacks and strokes. Hospitals seem to have the resources they need at this time, but I am still very concerned that the latest Thanksgiving surge could be only the beginning of an increasing wave of spread throughout the holiday season that could put all of us in a terrible position in the new year.''
It was not immediately clear which council committee would hear Koretz' motion first.
Koretz's motion came as Los Angeles County reported a daily record of 7,593 newly confirmed coronavirus cases, along with a record 2,316 people hospitalized due to the virus. The county also confirmed another 46 coronavirus-related deaths.
The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus is now at almost 12%, up from 7% a week ago, according to the county.
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