LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – The coronavirus crisis carried its record-breaking trend into New Year’s Day, with California reporting its highest daily death toll since the beginning of the pandemic.
California recorded 585 new coronavirus deaths, a record, according to the latest numbers released Friday. This shattered Thursday’s record of 428 deaths by a significant amount.
California also reported 47,189 new cases.
California has now totaled more than 2.29 million cases and 25,971 deaths from the disease.
There were at least 21,433 people hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide. Of those 21.5% were in ICU beds.
Statewide, there were 1,291 available ICU beds. However, the 11-county Southern California region as a whole, which is under an indefinite stay-at-home order, continues to have an adjusted ICU availability of 0%.
Hospitals across the Southland have been stretched to their limits, with several forced to install makeshift mobile field hospitals in their parking lots to handle the crush of new patients.
Los Angeles County has been a major driver of the case surge. Cathy Chidester, director of the L.A. County Emergency Medical Services Agency, told CBSLA Thursday that there were reports of hospitals being so overwhelmed that ambulances were being forced to wait up to eight hours in emergency bays to unload passengers.
“We’re running out of ambulances, and our response to 911 calls is getting longer and longer,” she said.