ICU Capacity in Southern California Plunges to 0%


Southern California reaches a 0% capacity in ICU beds as the holidays reach their peak and the new year approaches. 

As the holiday season kicked off on November 1, Southern California expected a spike in COVID-19 cases. However, as the ICU availability reached a 0% capacity on Thursday, December 17, hospitals are trying their best to stay afloat. According to the California Department of Public Health, “On December 16, there were 52,281* newly recorded confirmed cases. The state now has a total of 1,723,362 positive cases. There have been a total of 21,860 deaths in the state.”

Officials became aware of the increase in cases the holiday season would trigger. On November 21, the state required most counties to stop non-essential activities from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Later, on December 3, the state passed the Regional Stay Home Order, which “will go into effect at 11:59 PM the day after a region has been announced to have less than 15% ICU availability. The supplemental order clarifies retail operations and goes into effect immediately. They prohibit private gatherings of any size, close sector operations except for critical infrastructure and retail, and require 100% masking.”

The CA Public Health Department also showcased San Joaquin Valley is at 0.0% capacity, while Northern California is at 21.0%, Greater Sacramento Area at 14.5%, and the Bay Area at 12.8%. According to the Los Angeles Times, “About 600 new patients with COVID-19 are now being admitted to hospitals daily in L.A. County, and officials say that could rise to 750 to 1,350 a day by New Year’s Eve.”

Now that Southern California has reached 0% capacity, it is evident that the holiday season will strike the state harder than in the past. It is essential to stay healthy and remain within COVID-19 regulations. Healthcare workers at the frontlines are working at maximum force, and for that, we are grateful.