Extended stay-at-home order likely as Southern California ICU capacity remains 0 percent

Three students cross a street
Intensive care unit availability in Southern California was zero percent for the fifth consecutive day Monday. (Lilly Haave • The Student Life)

Intensive care unit availability in Southern California was zero percent for the fifth consecutive day Monday, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.

Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients in Los Angeles County continue to rise as reported ICU availability remains unchanged. 

The state reported 5,866 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the county as of Sunday, an increase from Saturday’s reported 5,709 patients. 

The county’s COVID-19 hospitalization total — which include patients suspected of having COVID-19 — was 6,224 as of Sunday, an increase of more than 1,000 patients in five days, according to CDPH data

Los Angeles County makes up just over one-third of the state’s 18,359 total COVID-19 and suspected COVID-19 patient hospitalizations, according to the dashboard.

Regional stay-at-home orders, which go into place when a region’s ICU capacity is less than 15 percent, have been in place in Southern California since Dec. 6 and were slated to last at least three weeks. 

However, with ICU availability in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley region dipping to zero repeatedly, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state anticipates a “substantial increase” in hospital surge and will be reevaluating the end dates for those orders based on hospitalization data and trends.

“It’s very likely that we’ll have to extend that stay-at-home order,” Newsom said in a press conference Dec. 21.

Statewide ICU availability rose to 2.5 percent from Sunday’s 2.1 percent availability, a two-day increase from Saturday.

Claremont’s COVID-19 case rate as of Saturday was 3,064 positive COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents, the most recent case rate reported by the county.

Jaimie Ding and Gabe Fisher contributed reporting.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available

This article was last updated December 21, 2020 at 2:42 p.m.

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