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Doctors And Nurses Worried As COVID Patients Continue To Pour Into Hospitals

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — With Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations over, healthcare workers in Los Angeles and Orange County are worried a surge of patients will pour into already packed hospitals over the next few weeks.

"My concern is really resources, are we going to have the resources to take care of our community?" said Dr. Jim Kearny, an emergency physician at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo.

California recorded 585 new coronavirus deaths on New Year's Day, a record, according to the latest numbers released Friday. It's the highest daily death toll since the beginning of the pandemic.

All regular intensive-care beds are full in Southern California with zero percent capacity.

"Earlier in our surge back in July when we were at our highest, we are more than double that census now," said Jenny Carrillo, Charge Nurse of Holy Cross Hospital in Los Angeles.

Hospitals in L.A. and Orange County are facing increasingly difficult decisions about which services to postpone amid the crushing load of coronavirus patients.

This week, hospitals have been notified they should prepare for crisis care, which has already lead to patients being put in hospital cafeterias and gift shops.

More than 2 million people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in California.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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