Standing in front of the US Navy hospital ship Mercy, which docked in LA to help the city cope with the oncoming onslaught of COVID19 patients, Gov. Gavin Newsom and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti sounded very grim.
California’s cases jumped 26% in one day with more than 65,000 tests pending, Newsom said. As of Friday, there were 4,700 cases of COVID19 in the state and at least 97 deaths.
The enormous Los Angeles Convention Center is being prepped to receive patients and state officials are scrambling to find ventilators. They have just a little over 4,000 ventilators and need at least 10,000, Newsom said. State emergency funding is enabling officials to lease facilities for patients at a bankrupt San Francisco hospital and one in LA that closed.
“We will have doctors making excruciating decisions,” Garcetti said Friday at a press briefing alongside Newsom. Garcetti said that if the trend continues, cases could double every two days.
California will need an additional 50,000 beds almost immediately according to current surge data, Newsom said. Los Angeles County alone is the nation’s most populous with more than 10 million people.
New York City currently has more than 26,000 cases and at least 366 deaths.
Despite — or perhaps because of southern California’s sunny weather — county officials ordered a three-week shutdown of beaches, piers, hiking trails and bike paths.