CDC says to cancel Thanksgiving travel plans as hospitals reach capacity nationwide. LA isn’t far behind

A patient arrives outside Maimonides Medical Center, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., November 17, 2020. Photo by REUTERS/Brendan McDermid.

LA County reported more than 5,000 new cases on Thursday. That’s the highest single-day number so far in this pandemic. The LA Times says hospitalizations have gone up 70% in the past month alone. 

LA County Health Services Director Dr. Christina Ghaly and other officials say another shutdown could be imminent, and they’re urging people to cancel holiday plans. The CDC echoed that recommendation nationally today.

But COVID fatigue has set in, and some people still may be willing to overlook public health guidelines as cases surge. So what would that do to hospital capacity?

“Space turns out not to be the big problem. It’s staff. We can put hospital beds in parking lots. Who’s going to take care of them?” says Dr. Brad Spellberg, Chief Medical Officer at the LA County + USC Medical Center.

Credits

Guest:
Dr. Brad Spellberg - Chief Medical Officer at the LA County + USC Medical Center - @BradSpellberg

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Caleigh Wells, Angie Perrin