Ten hospitals around Southern California have had intensive care units packed with COVID-19 patients for 25 weeks or more, NBC News reported on Wednesday.
During the earliest days of the pandemic, calls to "flatten the curve" flooded social media from all corners, as health officials and politicians asked everyone to stay home and avoid spreading COVID-19.
Those calls aimed to prevent more cases of the then-novel coronavirus, but beyond that, they aimed to keep hospital systems, healthcare workers and intensive care units from becoming overburdened with too many patients.
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Now, over a year and a half since the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic, many hospitals across the United States have seen that nightmare come to pass.
For some hospitals, ICUs began to slowly empty out in the spring and early summer, before the delta variant caused another spike in cases.
But for others, ICUs stayed full.
According to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, 20 hospitals in various states had full ICUs for more than 52 weeks -- one full year -- since the onset of the pandemic, NBC News reports. Three of them are in Southern California.
Monrovia Memorial Hospital in the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles was one of three hospitals in the United States with 59 weeks spent at or above operational capacity. That's just short of one year and two months.
Here's a list of the 10 hospitals around Southern California that have spent an extended amount of time with full ICUs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Department of Health and Human Services data:
- Monrovia Memorial Hospital in Monrovia, California, has spent 59 weeks at or above operational capacity
- Kindred Hospital Brea, in Brea, California, has spent 55 weeks at or above operational capacity.
- Kindred Hospital Los Angeles, in Los Angeles, California, has spent 53 weeks at or above operational capacity.
- Memorial Hospital of Gardena, in Gardena, California, has spent 47 weeks at or above operational capacity.
- Community Hospital Of Huntington Park, in Huntington Park, California, has spent 45 weeks at or above operational capacity.
- Kindred Hospital South Bay, in Gardena, California, has spent 35 weeks at or above operational capacity.
- LA Downtown Medical Center, in Los Angeles, California, has spent 35 weeks at or above operational capacity.
- Glendale Memorial Hospital & Health Center, in Glendale, California, has spent 30 weeks at or above operational capacity.
- AHMC Anaheim Regional Medical Center, in Anaheim, California, has spent 28 weeks at or above operational capacity.
- La Palma Intercommunity Hospital, in La Palma, California, has spent 25 weeks at or above operational capacity.
With beds full of patients sick with COVID-19, hospitals don't have the resources or the manpower to take on people who come in for unrelated emergencies, such as those caused by natural disasters.
And while hospitalizations are falling in LA County, hospitals and their workers are overwhelmed after so many months of hard work and tragic death, even in hospitals where the ICUs aren't fully packed.
"One of the women I intubated the other day was FaceTiming her child that was like, in second grade," one Riverside doctor said in late August. "And that's just devastating, because that woman didn't survive."