In an update to the City Council, Huntington Hospital President/CEO Lori Morgan said on Monday the hospital continues to struggle with resources during the current surge of the COVID-19.
When examining the last 30 days up to Jan. 8, Morgan said last summer begins to look like a bit of a walk in the park.
Currently, 51-of-71 ventilators are in use and the hospital continues to admit more patients than they are discharging, which has made bed space a concern.
“We have grave concerns about the availability of hospital beds,” Morgan said. “We had a discussion about what we can do last week. We will continue to do whatever we can, but staffing continues to be a problem.”
Fifteen beds have been placed in the hospital’s auditorium.
According to Morgan, more than 200 patients were battling the virus as of Monday morning, including 27 patients in the intensive care unit. Fifteen percent of those patients are Pasadena residents.
“Our small but mighty Health Department has been working very hard,” said City Manager Steve Mermell. “Here we are in 2021. We know this year is going to end better, but it’s a very difficult time right now.”
L.A. County is closing in on 1 million cases of the virus. According to City News Service, county officials reported 12,617 new cases on Monday.
In total, 932,698 infections have been reported since the pandemic began.
The county also reported an additional 137 COVID deaths on Monday, raising the countywide death toll to 12,387.
Hospitals continue to be overrun with COVID patients, with only 650 available beds — including 48 intensive-care unit beds — available as of Monday at the 70 “911-receiving” medical centers. Hospitalization numbers appear to have “stabilized” following dramatic surges in recent weeks, but the overcrowding in hospitals still hasn’t been alleviated.
“The healthcare system is being stretched to dangerous extremes,” according to Dr. Ying-Ying Goh, who leads the city’s Health Department.
As of Wednesday, all of the residents in the city’s long-term healthcare facilities will have had the chance to take the vaccine.
Councilman John Kennedy asked about the city’s effort to reach out to African Americans and Latinos regarding the vaccine. Many people in those demographics have said they would not take the vaccine.
Goh said she was open to suggestions on how to conduct outreach to those groups.
According to Gordo, some local healthcare providers are frustrated with the lack of response and information with the city’s Health Department regarding the vaccine.
“Some local health providers are frustrated and don’t believe we have been responsive. Some of them have gone to L.A. to have their staff vaccinated,” said Mayor Victor Gordo.
Goh said the department cannot always immediately reply.
Gordo said he would lobby the state with Long Beach and Los Angeles to have some of the red tape removed regarding the vaccine.