As coronavirus cases have surged across California in the past month, hospitalizations — and especially the number of patients sick enough to need intensive-care unit treatment — have become the focus.
Distressingly low availability of ICU beds triggered stay-at-home orders for much of California. Public health officials fear that if strong measures aren’t taken to stop the virus’s spread, hospitals will become overwhelmed. Local health care workers say it would be “catastrophic” if hospitalizations continue to go up.
At the peak of the summer surge in late July, more than 7,000 people with confirmed coronavirus cases were in California hospitals, and more than 2,000 of those patients were in ICUs. Those numbers bottomed out in mid-October to about 2,200 people hospitalized, including 600 in the ICUs.
But in the past two months, both numbers have more than quadrupled, shattering the summer records. State data shows 12,013 confirmed coronavirus cases in hospitals statewide, with 2,669 of those patients in ICUs, as of Thursday, Dec. 10.
This is what that surge has looked like.