Hours after the World Health Organization announced on Monday that the deadly Coronavirus spread is accelerating, an official at Huntington Hospital told Pasadena Now that the hospital is exploring its options in case of a surge in Coronavirus patients.
We are working with the city of Pasadena to explore alternate care site options for our community and have a surge plan that we will activate to ensure all beds at the hospital are available to care for the sickest patients,” said Dorey Hutson, hospital spokesperson. “We are also collaborating with the Public Health Department as well as other hospitals via the Hospital Association of Southern California and the California Hospital Association.”
At a March 9 council meeting, the city’s Health Director Ying Ying Goh said the hospital has 70 ventilators. According to the Huntington Hospital website there are 20 beds in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
The ICU also includes six isolation rooms for the most immune-compromised patients. Dr. Goh said USC has a cache of ventilators that can be accessed, but it is not known if the county has accessed them since that time.
On March 10, Huntington was scheduled to receive 10,000 masks.
“If 15 percent of our population gets the virus that around 21,000 people,” said Andy Wilson at the March 9 meeting. “If some portion of that group needs ventilators, 10 percent— that’s 2,000 people … how does that math work?”
This past weekend, Supervisor Janice Hahn said there were just 200 available intensive care unit beds in Los Angeles County.
Huntington is treating patients infected with the virus, and at least one patient has died at the hospital.
There were 536 reported cases in LA County as of Monday afternoon and just 200 available ICU beds in the county.
According to the LA Times, has 20,000 new coronavirus tests and the capacity to process 5,000 tests a day, officials announced.
US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said things could get worse very quickly.
“I want America to understand — this week, it’s going to get bad,” Adams said on NBC Monday morning, adding that some people have not been properly practicing social distancing.
According to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of WHO, said it took 67 days from the first case to reach 100,000 cases, 11 days for the second 100,000 cases and four days for the next 100,000 cases.
There are just three cases of the Coronavirus in Pasadena, Altadena and South Pasadena also have three cases and nearby Arcadia has two.
“This is how the spread is occurring. So we really, really need everyone to stay at home,” Adams said. “I think that there are a lot of people who are doing the right things, but I think that unfortunately we’re finding out a lot of people think this can’t happen to them.”
Last week, Pasadena, Los Angeles County and Long Beach issued Safer at Home orders shutting down non-essential businesses and ordering people to stay at home unless they are buying food or seeking health care.
“It is critical that our community follow the guidelines for social distancing and safer at home to help us decrease the number of people that will require hospital care from COVID-19, and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed. We appreciate the ongoing support from the community and are doing our very best to prepare for the coming weeks. This is an unprecedented situation for hospitals around the country, especially those in densely populated cities like Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.”