Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus pandemic has pushed California state hospitals to the brink of catastrophe as some medical centers scramble to provide oxygen for the critically ill.

Iran PressAmerica: California started the new year by reporting a record of 585 coronavirus deaths in a single day.

The California Department of Public Health on Friday reported more than than 47,189 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to nearly 2.3 million. Nearly 26,000 people have died from the virus in the state.

The previous single-day record of 432 deaths was set on Tuesday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office announced California would begin collaborating with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to evaluate and upgrade outdated oxygen delivery systems at six Los Angeles area hospitals.

Assessments at hospitals could begin as early as Saturday, according to a statement from the governor’s office. The collaboration comes as older medical centers are having difficulty maintaining oxygen pressure in aging infrastructure and some were scrambling to locate additional oxygen tanks for discharged patients to take home.

"By working to upgrade challenged oxygen delivery systems at these older hospitals we can improve the ability to deliver life-sustaining medical care to those who need it," Mark Ghilarducci, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, said in a statement Friday.

California on Thursday became the third state to exceed 25,000 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic, behind New York with nearly 38,000 deaths and Texas with more than 27,000, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.


Doctors and nurses exhausted

Doctors and nurses in Riverside County said they are overworked as they try to save lives.

"Anytime we have a little bit of a break with the number of patients coming to the emergency department it gives our staff, our physicians, our nurses to just sort of recharge," said Dr. Steven Kim, Emergency Department Chair of Riverside Community Hospital.

Kim said a slow New Year’s Eve delivered some relief to his staff. The weekend before, the hospital had to convert its cafeteria into an alternative care area to treat patients.

But the break isn’t expected to last, the first and second weeks of January will most likely bring a surge of COVID-19 patients to the hospital from Christmas and New Year’s Eve gatherings.

Doctors and nurses are pleading with the US public to keep following COVID-19 health guidelines.