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US: Southern California hospitals gearing up for surge in coronavirus cases -- Press Enterprise

Found: Sun Jun 28 14:13:35 2020 PDT
Source: Press-Enterprise (Riverside, CA)
Copyright: 2020 The Press-Enterprise Company
Webpage: [translate]
Author: Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG, dbharath@scng.

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Southern California hospitals gearing up for...

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Breaking News

As coronavirus cases surge, Gov. Newsom orders bars to close in Los Angeles and 6 other counties, recommends closures in 8 others June 28, 2020 at 1:58 pm

NewsNewsNews Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Southern California hospitals gearing up for surge in coronavirus cases

Medical centers are preparing to add more beds if the number of patients needing treatment continues to climb

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LVN Nadine Snyder gives a coronavirus nasal test to Aajuni Sandhu, 2-weeks-old, of Moreno Valley, as her dad Dawinder Sandhu holds her in a ED-2 exam room at Riverside University Health System in Moreno Valley on Friday, June 26, 2020. (Photo by Terry Pierson, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

Large hospital systems in Southern California are preparing to create more space for coronavirus patients as cases continue to surge in the region and across the state.

One ER physician said hospital CEOs "are getting anxious" about the capacity of their facilities to handle the influx, and some are developing staged plans to ensure they can.

From Riverside and San Bernardino counties to Los Angeles and Orange counties, the numbers of patients infected with COVID-19 have been climbing dramatically in the past few weeks.

In Orange County, health officials reported Friday that COVID-related hospitalizations climbed 17.6% over the previous three days, well over the state threshold of 10%. The spread has been so pronounced that the county soon could find itself on the state's watch list for possible renewed lockdown orders..

In L.A. County, the seven-day average of daily new coronavirus cases was 1,979 on Friday, an increase from the 1,379 average two weeks ago, officials said.

And in San Bernardino County, the number of new cases per week is growing rapidly, particularly among patients 18 to 49 years old, officials said. The county averaged about 160 new cases a week earlier in the month, in the mid 200s during the middle of the month and has averaged more than 300 over the past seven days.

San Bernardino County

Health officials in San Bernardino are getting ready with plans to use extra beds and temporary hospital sites in the county if the surge of coronavirus cases continues.

"This is the first time that, when we have discussions with hospital CEOs regarding hospital capacity, that our CEOs are getting anxious," Dr. Troy Pennington, an emergency medical physician at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, said during a news conference on Friday, June 26.

Hospitals are close to having to use their "surge capacity" beds, which are set up in addition to traditional licensed beds to care for an influx of coronavirus patients, he said. If hospitals fill up, the county could use alternate sites such as the National Orange Show in San Bernardino and the county fairgrounds in Victorville.

"We could be moving toward alternate care sites within a matter of weeks," Pennington said. "That's the very real reality of where we could be heading if we continue with the same slope of the curve that we've been looking at recently."

Surgical beds are still available and there is still capacity in intensive care, he said, adding that the usage of fewer ventilators in treatment these days is a silver lining.

In preparation for a possible influx of COVID-19 patients, Loma Linda University Medical Center and Children's Hospital have designated isolation units to mitigate the spread of infection for adult and pediatric patients who have tested positive for COVID-19, spokeswoman Briana Pastorino said.

In addition, the hospital has three medical surge tents outside the emergency department, which could serve as an isolation space suitable for screening patients who are showing symptoms, she said.

Los Angeles County

UCLA Health is carefully monitoring COVID-19 testing and hospitalization data, maintaining regular contact with Los Angeles County public health officials and hospitals throughout the region, and is well-prepared for the possibility of additional patients, said spokesman Phil Hampton.

As of Thursday, the system's hospitals had 31 patients who were COVID-19 positive and has treated 304 coronavirus patients since March 12. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood has 446 beds and UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica has 281 beds. That includes 133 intensive care unit beds in Westwood and 22 in Santa Monica.

Hampton said UCLA has a "comprehensive, multistage" surge plan in place and could gradually increase the number of beds to 1,100 by adding beds to single in-patient rooms and converting other rooms to provide ICU-level care.

Riverside County

Hospital systems in Riverside County say they are gearing up for a surge by ensuring they have the capacity to expand the number of beds both in their hospitals and intensive care units.

Riverside County's 17 hospitals have 3,560 licensed hospital beds, of which 2,500 are currently in use, county spokeswoman Brooke Federico said. But only 311 of those beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients, she said. However, the intensive care units are almost entirely occupied by COVID-19 patients. Of the 385 ICU beds, 90% are in use and 95% of those are occupied by COVID-19 patients, Federico said. Also, countywide, 680 ventilators are available, of which 166 are in use, she said.

Under a five-phase surge plan drafted last week, county hospitals are in phase three, where patient volumes are continuing to rise but they have not had to expand into areas of the hospital that are not licensed for a specific use, such as intensive care, said Dr. Michael Mesisca, medical director for the Emergency Medicine Department and Disaster Medicine Team at the Riverside University Health System.

"We are moving toward phase four, when we will begin to use other spaces within the hospital," he said. "Phase five is when we grow out of treatment areas into spaces such as conference centers."

The health system also has hired travel nurses, more nurses on staff, worked to maximize telehealth options and invested in supplies -- from ventilators and IV pumps to monitors and cots.

It is not quite the time to panic, Mesisca said, but county residents should show vigilance by using face coverings and practicing physical distancing to help ensure that the local hospital systems don't get overwhelmed.

Orange County

Over the past week, UCI Medical Center in Orange has averaged approximately 50 hospitalized coronavirus-positive patients a day and nearly 880 patients with the virus have been admitted and treated since the middle of March, spokesman John Murray said.

"These patients are admitted to dedicated (coronavirus) units, including ICUs. We will expand the number of beds available as needed," he said. Murray said that while supply lines for some personal protective equipment continue to be stretched, UC medical centers across the system are busy securing supplies necessary to manage an additional surge of patients.

At Hoag Hospital Presbyterian in Orange County, only 5% of hospital beds are in use for coronavirus patients because most coronavirus patients are not hospitalized, said Dr. Philip Robinson, director of infection prevention. Fewer than 2% of their ventilators are currently in use, he said.

"Many of our coronavirus patients are seen at Hoag Urgent Care and/or Hoag Medical Group offices," he said. "We triage and treat them in an outpatient setting, and patients convalesce at home in isolation. Telehealth options support this as well."

Robinson said one of the challenges health-care professionals continue to face is having to remind the community not to delay care when experiencing potentially life-threatening medical conditions such as strokes and heart attacks.

"We have seen patients so wary of engaging the health care system that they let these symptoms go unchecked during the height of the crisis, resulting in permanent damage, and in some cases, death," he said, adding that people should not delay essential surgeries and important medical screenings simply out of fear.

Robinson said also reminded the community that it has a responsibility to slow the spread of the virus so health systems are not overwhelmed.

"It is incumbent upon the community to continue to practice hand hygiene, social distancing and wearing face coverings in public to help slow the spread and allow hospitals to care for those in need."

Kaiser Permanente system

Kaiser Permanente, which has medical centers throughout Southern California, does not disclose its bed or ICU capacity, or numbers of COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment at its facilities.

However, Nancy E. Gin, regional medical director of quality and clinical analysis, said the system has sufficient beds and ventilators to treat any surge in coronavirus patients.

The health system has the ability to "leverage expanded treatment capabilities, including the ability to increase treatment space, staff, and supplies to manage surges, even as we reopen the health care system with new, social distancing measures in place," Gin said.

"Given the emphasis on testing, monitoring and contact tracing, we expect to be better able than at the start of the pandemic to identify and predict potential hotspots and surges of patients seeking high-level care for the coronavirus. This will allow us to tailor surge planning to meet local needs rather than planning for a surge in coronavirus patients systemwide."

Staff writers Sandra Emerson, Hayley Munguia and Ian Wheeler contributed to this report.

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Deepa Bharath covers religion for The Orange County Register and the Southern California Newspaper Group. Her work is focused on how religion, race and ethnicity shape our understanding of what it is to be American and how religion in particular helps influence public policies, laws and a region's culture. Deepa also writes about race, cultures and social justice issues. She has covered a number of other beats ranging from city government to breaking news for the Register since May 2006. She has received fellowships from the International Women's Media Foundation and the International Center for Journalists to report stories about reconciliation, counter-extremism and peace-building efforts around the world. When she is not working, she loves listening to Indian classical music and traveling with her husband and son. Follow Deepa Bharath @reporterdeepa

Scott Schwebke is an investigative reporter for the Register and the Southern California News Group. A native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., he was previously a breaking news and multimedia reporter for the Ogden, Utah, Standard-Examiner. Scott has also worked at newspapers in Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia. A graduate of Brigham Young University, Scott is the Register's 2014 Beat Reporter of the Year. He has won more than two dozen journalism awards including the N.C. Associated Press News Council's O. Henry Award for a lengthy narrative on the brutal home invasion slaying of a nurse and a Katie Award from the Dallas Press Club for a feature story on a UFO investigator. Scott has covered everything from methamphetamine trafficking cops to hurricanes and has accompanied police on undercover drug buys. He also provided an award winning, eyewitness account of the execution of a North Carolina death row inmate and obtained an exclusive interview with the ringleader of a brazen escape from the Orange County Jail involving three maximum security inmates. Scott was also part of the Register's investigative team that produced the year-long, award winning Rehab Riviera series, examining problems in Southern California's drug rehabilitation industry. Having spent two years living in England including Liverpool, he is an avid Beatles fan and memorabilia collector. He and his wife, Lisa, reside in Anaheim. Follow Scott Schwebke @thechalkoutline

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As coronavirus cases surge, Gov. Newsom orders bars to close in Los Angeles and 6 other counties, recommends closures in 8 others

analysis of article text

prohibitionist hits:0 government drug warrior (prohibition_agency) hits:0 propaganda (drugwar_propaganda) hits:27 legalization hits:0 drug_reformer hits:0 reform_referenda hits:0 cannabis hits:0 stimulant hits:1 narcotic hits:0 hallucinogen hits:0
    prohibitionist     prohibition_agency     drugwar_propaganda     legalization     drug_reformer
    reform_referenda     cannabis     stimulant     narcotic     hallucinogen

incarceration/prison mentioned? yes .

propaganda analysis

explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) hits:3 hated group (propaganda_theme1) hits:0 madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2) hits:14 survival of society (propaganda_theme3) hits:8 gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) hits:0 children (propaganda_theme5) hits:1 demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) hits:1 total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) hits:0 dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8) hits:0
EXP - explicit prohibition propaganda (explicit_propaganda) GRP - hated group (propaganda_theme1) MAD - madness, violence, illness (propaganda_theme2)
SOC - survival of society (propaganda_theme3) USE - gateway, use is abuse (propaganda_theme4) KID - children (propaganda_theme5)
WAR - demonize, war, epidemic (propaganda_theme6) TOT - total prohibition (propaganda_theme7) DIS - dissent opposed (propaganda_theme8)

 drug of abuse implied / mentioned

drug related
[news] [concept]

illegal drugs  
drugwar_propaganda : a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or themepropaganda

drugwar propaganda 75%
[news] [concept]

explicit propaganda propaganda theme2 propaganda theme3 propaganda theme5 propaganda theme6 Why Are Americans So Easy to Manipulate? (Bruce E Levine, 2012)
Classic Modern Drug Propaganda
Themes in Chemical Prohibition
Drug War Propaganda (kindle edition)
explicit_propaganda : an explicit drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, system, or programexplicit prohibition propaganda

explicit propaganda 70%
[news] [concept]

"vigilance" "spokesman"3SourceWatch: War on Drugs
Write What You're Told
Anti-Drug PSAs From the 80s and 90s
Lippmann, Walter; Public Opinion (1921)
Bernays, Edward; Propaganda (1928)
propaganda_theme2 : drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugsmadness, violence, illness

propaganda theme2 70%
[news] [concept]

"murder" "Crime" "Inappropriate" "Disaster" "threatening" "death" "heart attacks" "damage" "problems" "strokes" "fear"14Madness Crime Violence Illness (propaganda theme 2)
Distortion 18: Cannabis and Mental Illness
No, marijuana use doesn't lower your IQ (10/2014)
propaganda_theme3 : drug war propaganda theme: survival of societysurvival of society

propaganda theme3 75%
[news] [concept]

"American" "community" "Public Safety" "public health"8Survival of Society (propaganda theme 3)
The "Nation" as a Device To Create a Psychological Crowd
propaganda_theme5 : drug war propaganda theme: children corrupted by drugschildren

propaganda theme5 60%
[news] [concept]

"Children"1Children Corrupted (propaganda theme 5)
Think of the children
propaganda_theme6 : drug war propaganda theme: demonize; use of drugs is epidemic; wardemonize, war, epidemic

propaganda theme6 65%
[news] [concept]

"pandemic"1Demonize, War (propaganda theme 6)
List of Wars on Concepts
Perpetual war
The Failed War on Drugs (2012)
 drug of abuse

illegal drugs
[news] [concept]

 drugs 90%
[news] [concept]
various drugs  
 psychoactive chemical

[news] [concept]

methamphetamine amphetamines
 euphoric stimulant
[news] [concept]
[news] [concept]
[news] [concept]
Amphetamines: The Swedish experience
amphetamines : various amphetaminesamphetamines
[news] [concept]
methamphetamine The amphetamines - Consumers Union Report
Officially Approved US Military Speed/Amphetamine Use
 various drugs 90%
[news] [concept]
[news] [concept]
"Jail" "inmate" "inmates"3Prison Hell in America (Stephen Lendman, Oct. 2011)
Understanding the U.S. Torture State
this is what a police state looks like
Torture and the United States and... drugs.htm
US Official Prison Policy: Encourage Men's Rape (2014)
Profit Driven Prison Industrial Complex (2012)
The Top Five Special Interest Groups Lobbying To Keep Marijuana Illegal
Sing a Little Louder
Prison Rape Widely Ignored by Authorities
Push Back Against Drug War Profiteering with Jury Nullification
 youth 60%
[news] [concept]
propaganda theme5
[news] [concept]
 aggrandizing government

[news] [concept]

"officials"5Statism: the Most Dangerous Religion (2014 video)
What is Statism?
Conservapedia: Statism
Wikipedia: Statolatry
Bought Priesthood
Worship of the U. S. Government (2011)
Bureaucratic Thrust
Tyranny of Experts
The Threat of Authority (2012)
The Media As Enablers of Government Lies
The Statist Mindset (Jacob Hornberger, 2011)
Thinking Critically about Experts and Authority
'Scientific' evidence for FDA-approved drugs isn't so scientific, it turns out (2014)
The Intellectual Gravy Train (2015)
 mainstream (controlled) media

[news] [concept]

mockingbird Mainstream Media
Michael Levine, Mainstream Media: The Drug War Shills
Mainstream Media: The Most Significant Threat To Freedom
 Mockingbird / Wurlitzer; US intel-controlled media

[news] [concept]

assoc press Operation Mockingbird - Mighty Wurlitzer cia a...
US Media Conceals News (2013)
Two of the Largest American Newspapers Opine in Favor of Allowing States to Legalize Marijuana (2012)
Propaganda 101: Operation Mockingbird Continues (2015)
 assoc press
[news] [concept]
"Associated Press" cia a...
Associated Press (AP) - Mockingbird / Wurlitzer

st:0.02 fo:0 s:0.01 d:0 c:0 db:0.162 a:1.01 m:0.27 t:1.67 (f)

text of article used for CRITICAL ANALYSIS, under FAIR USE provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107, et al.

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Bot's analysis of: "The Dangers and Consequences of Marijuana Abuse" the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Demand Reduction Section, May 2014
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    article tags


    assoc_press concept - AP - Associated Press - long linked with "Mighty Wurlitzer" intel ops like, "Operation Mockingbird"
    mockingbird concept - documented US intel controlled media: newspapers, tv, radio - various press associated with known intel ops such as, "Operation Mockingbird", "Mighty Wurlitzer", etc.
    msm concept - mainstream media - corporate, government controlled press: newspaper, tv, radio, websites; press associated with known intel ops such as, "Operation Mockingbird", "Mighty Wurlitzer", Tavistock Institute, etc.
    aggrandizement concept - terms of aggrandizement (of government)
    school concept
    youth concept
    incarceration concept - Prisons, Jails and Probation
    various_drugs concept - general terms for drugs
    amphetamines concept - various amphetamines
    methamphetamine concept - methamphetamine
    stimulant concept - a substance that produces stimulation
    euphoric_stimulant concept
    chemicals concept - Psychoactive Chemicals are chemicals which have mind- or emotion-altering properties.
    drugs concept
    illegal_drugs concept - drugs of abuse, so-called
    propaganda_theme6 concept - drug war propaganda theme: demonize; use of drugs is epidemic; war
    propaganda_theme5 concept - drug war propaganda theme: children corrupted by drugs
    propaganda_theme3 concept - drug war propaganda theme: survival of society
    propaganda_theme2 concept - drug war propaganda theme: madness, violence, illness caused by drugs
    explicit_propaganda concept - an explicit drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, system, or program
    drugwar_propaganda concept - a drug war propaganda event, campaign release, slogan, or theme
    drug_related concept - related to illegal drugs and prohibition