(CNN) Los Angeles County is seeing a surge in new Covid-19 coronavirus cases, topping 1,000 for the fifth straight day Wednesday. [With more than ten million residents, L.A. County’s population is larger than that of all but ten states.]
Though hospitalizations remain low, each infected patient admitted to a county hospital has not had all their vaccine shots, officials said.
County health services director Dr. Christina Ghaly told the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday:
“To date, we have not had a patient admitted to a [Department of Health Services] hospital who has been fully vaccinated, with either the J&J, Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Every single patient that we’ve admitted for Covid is not yet fully vaccinated,”
The Department of Health Services runs four hospitals, including those affiliated with the University of California-Los Angeles and the University of Southern California, along with 19 health care centers throughout the region.
“We can’t rely on herd immunity if the herd won’t get their shots.”
In Los Angeles County, there are about 400 Covid-19 patients hospitalized, according to local health officials.
Discussing the mental health toll the pandemic has taken on health care workers, a frustrated county Supervisor Sheila Kuehl focused on health care workers:
“[They are] toiling 14, 15, 16 hours a day to take care of them when they don’t want to take care of themselves. I am sorry if I sound angry, but it strikes me as selfish. We can’t rely on herd immunity if the herd won’t get their shots.”
Ghaly agreed, calling the hospitalizations entirely preventable.
“At this point, this really is a preventable illness, a preventable infection, and the health care workers will continue doing everything they can to support the lives and health of the individuals that come in.
“But it’s really been a very challenging year, and I think it’s made all the more challenging because we see the suffering that these patients and their families are going through, and it’s very preventable at this point in time” …