L.A. County surpasses 900,000 coronavirus cases and 12,000 deaths

Eclipsing two sad milestones on the same day, Los Angeles County surpassed 900,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 12,000 deaths, public health officials reported Saturday, Jan. 9.

The county posted 221 new deaths and 16,982 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. As the post-holiday surge appeared to be at full strength, health officials confirmed that the county had lost more 1,000 lives to COVID-19 in the past four days and posted more than 100,000 new cases in the last week.

Eclipsing two sad milestones on the same day, Los Angeles County surpassed 900,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 12,000 deaths, public health officials reported Saturday, Jan. 9.

The county posted 221 new deaths and 16,982 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. As the post-holiday surge appeared to be at full strength, health officials confirmed that the county had lost more 1,000 lives to COVID-19 in the past four days and posted more than 100,000 new cases in the last week.

With overtaxed local hospitals scrambling to keep pace, the number of people hospitalized with the virus continued to hover over 7,900, with more than 20% of them in intensive-care units.

The state index continues to list the 11-county Southern California Region at 0% ICU availability.

“To the families and friends experiencing the sorrow of losing of a loved one due to COVID-19, we send you our deepest condolences,” said Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health. “This is another devastating day for Los Angeles County. The speed with which we are reaching grim milestones of COVID-19 deaths and cases is a devastating reflection of the immense spread that is occurring across the County. And this accelerated spread reflects the many unsafe actions individuals took over holidays.”

Ferrer also announced three more cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, raising the county’s total cases to 54 young people, including one child death. More than 70% of the infections came to Latino/Latinx children.

An inflammatory condition linked to experts to COVID-19, MIS-C’s symptoms include extended fever that does and inflammation in  the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs.

Statewide, health authorities on Saturday reported a record high of 695 coronavirus deaths. The state Department of Public Health said the number raises the state’s death toll since the start of the pandemic to 29,233.

County Health Services Director Dr. Christina Ghaly said this week that numbers of new daily hospital admissions had begun to level off — but still at a high level, and patient discharges have not kept pace, leading to the growing hospital population.

But she and other health officials warned that the admissions are anticipated to surge upward again as a result of the winter holidays. Simon said the county is only now beginning to see the rise in case numbers from the Christmas holiday.

“This is a clear reflection of what was happening two to four weeks ago over the holiday time, (when people were) traveling, mixing,” Simon said. “… Where people are sharing air … the virus will spread. We do anticipate given the high number of cases … we’re going to see high levels of hospitalizations and sadly deaths over at least the next two to four weeks. We are hoping, urging the public to adhere more strictly to our control measures and hoping now that we’re beyond the holiday time to see a decline in cases, but we’ll be watching very closely.”

Faced with wave upon wave of COVID-19 infections amid the worsening pandemic, the leader of the California Hospital Association on Friday called life for hospital staffs like being “on a beach and watching a tsunami approach.”

For weeks, California hospitals have activated surge plans to accommodate a massive influx of new coronavirus patients and have witnessed the scenario moving consistently toward the breaking point for staffing, resources and space, said Carmela Coyle, President and CEO of the California Hospital Association during a press briefing.

With roughly 40,000 new people becoming infected with COVID-19 each day in California and about 12% of them ending up in hospitals, Coyle said what hospitals are experiencing now could become even worse in the weeks to come.

“This is a situation that is tough, it is tight and it is tense,” Coyle said.

The message has been one echoed for weeks by officials in Southern California, and especially Los Angeles County, which continued to lead the state in cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

Almost no help to local staffs is coming from a volunteer program that Gov. Gavin Newsom created at the start of the pandemic, the Associated Press reported Saturday. An army of 95,000 initially raised their hands, and just 14 are now working in the field.

Very few volunteers actually met qualifications for the California Health Corps, and only a tiny sliver have the high-level experience needed to help with the most serious virus cases that are stretching intensive care units to the limit.

“Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out, and the goal is laudable,” said Stephanie Roberson, government relations director for the California Nurses Association.

Newsom formed the Health Corps in anticipation of the cascading crises that California and other states are now experiencing. COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and intensive care needs are spiraling out of control in the most populous state just as the rest of the nation sees a surge, overwhelming the usual pool of traveling nurses.

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Similarly, New York had more than 80,000 medical volunteers respond to a call for help early in the pandemic when it was a hot spot, and some were deployed. But hospitals more often turned to temporary workers to fill the gap, said Jean Moore, director of the Health Workforce Research Center at University at Albany.

Other states, including Illinois, Indiana and Pennsylvania, tried variations of recruiting volunteers with limited results.

“A volunteer corps assumes that it’s pretty easy to slot people in,” said Sean Clarke, executive vice dean and professor at New York University’s Rory Meyers College of Nursing. “Figuring out how to do that still hasn’t been fleshed out, I guess.”

Staff writer David Rosenfeld, The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report

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Daisugi (Produce Wood Without Cutting Trees) – LiveTerra

We are talking about an 800-year-old project. We’re talking about harvesting timber like picking fruit from a tree. The main body remains in the soil, the pruned branches are fertilized and thicker branches are provided. As the branches grow to a certain size, they are pruned and timber is produced without cutting trees. These trees are called Japanese Cedars. The cedar tree can grow vertically after being pruned.

Source: Daisugi (Produce Wood Without Cutting Trees) – LiveTerra