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In LA, 10 People Test Positive For COVID-19 Every Minute. How Can LA Control The Surge?

People take a COVID-19 test on the Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Campus, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
People take a COVID-19 test on the Martin Luther King Jr. Medical Campus, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Los Angeles county is one of the hottest COVID hotspots in the U.S. right now. Every minute, on average, 10 more people test positive. Can Los Angeles get control of the surge?


Dr. Elaine Batchlor, CEO of Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital in South Los Angeles. (@yourMLKCH)

Anne Rimoin, professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. Director of the Center for Global and Immigrant Health. (@arimoin)

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Valerie Ewald, clinical nurse at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center.

Shenita Anderson, emergency room nurse at Olympia Medical Center.

Sean Knibb, owner of Knibb Design Interiors and Flowerboy Project, a boutique, café and flower shop in Venice.

From The Reading List

The Guardian: “‘The horror stories are countless’: inside the LA hospital at the center of the Covid crisis” — “Husbands and wives, twin brothers in their 20s, parents and their children. Family members are turning up one after another at Martin Luther King Jr community hospital (MLKCH) in South Los Angeles. The deaths have been piling up.”

The Atlantic: “How a Well-Meaning Health Policy Created California’s Coronavirus Nightmare” — “Everyone’s worst pandemic nightmare is happening in Los Angeles. Intensive-care units are overflowing with patients gasping for breath, and there might not be enough ventilators to go around. If a patient has virtually no chance of survival, ambulances have been told not to bother transporting them to a hospital at all.”

STAT News: “In LA, ambulances circle for hours and ICUs are full. Is this what Covid-19 has in store for the rest of the country?” — “The situation here is dire. Every minute, 10 people test positive for Covid-19. Every eight minutes, someone dies. Ambulances circle for hours, unable to find ERs that can accept patients. Hospitals are running out of oxygen. ICU capacity is at zero. Patients lie in hallways and tents. Emergency room nurses have more patients than they can handle — sometimes six at a time.”

Los Angeles Times: “Deaths among Latinos in L.A. County from COVID-19 rising at astonishing levels” — “As the coronavirus spreads relentlessly through Los Angeles County, poor neighborhoods and the region’s Latino and Black communities continue to bear the brunt of illness and death, according to data released Wednesday.”

OC Register: “California lags far behind other states in COVID-19 vaccination rates” — “California is one of the slowest states in the nation when it comes to rolling out coronavirus vaccines, data from the Centers for Disease Control show — even as virus cases surge, overburdened hospitals turn away patients and record numbers of people die.”

Bloomberg: “California and Texas Fought Covid Their Own Way, Suffered Just the Same” — “When the novel coronavirus struck, California embraced lockdowns and mask mandates. Texas resisted them. Yet almost a year since the U.S. recorded its first Covid-19 case, the two most populous states, so often seen as opposites, find themselves in similar shape, with crippled economies and higher casualties than most nations.”

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

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