Data expert Justin Hart doesn’t know why California insists on lockdown policies

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The state’s regional order, which covers an 11-county Southern California area, took effect at 11:59 p.m. Dec. 6 and was set to expire Monday. But with the region’s intensive-care unit capacity at hospitals still officially listed at 0%, the order was extended indefinitely.

The state’s Health and Human Services Secretary, Dr. Mark Ghaly, said four-week projections indicate incoming COVID-19 patients are expected to continue exceeding ICU capacity in the region. Ghaly said the four-week projections are evaluated daily, and the region can emerge from the stay-at-home order whenever the projection indicates a region’s ICU capacity will rise above 15%.

The four-week projections are based on four factors: current ICU capacity, the region’s seven-day average daily new case rate, the transmission rate and the rate of ICU admissions.

Data expert, Justin Hart, joined Good Morning San Diego to share his frustration on California’s lockdown policies.

Hart also said, “hospitals are seeing surges and have staffing issues because of the requirements for PPE around COVID-19. As staff are vaccinating I expect to see things come back into play but even now I believe California is over the hump. We show that ER visits with covid-like-illness are dropping.”

Another 44 people with coronavirus were hospitalized Tuesday and 11 sent to ICUs. The 1,562 people hospitalized from the virus is a record, while the 388 in ICUs is the second-most after only Monday’s reported 393.

The county is reporting 19% of its existing ICU beds as available, but San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said last week that many of those beds lack staffing. The real number of available, staffed beds is likely much lower.

Several hospitals and health care groups in the region have applied for ratio waivers — effectively allowing medical staff to take on a heavier patient burden.

COVID-19 patients make up a little less than two-thirds of all ICU patients in the area, with just 228 non-COVID-19 patients compared to the 388 coronavirus patients in the ICU.

The county has reported a 130% increase in COVID-19-related hospitalizations in the past 30 days and a 121% increase in ICU patients in the same time period.

Of 16,944 tests reported Monday, 15% returned positive, bringing the 14-day average down to 10.8%. Sunday saw a record positivity rate of 27%.

Three new community outbreaks were confirmed Tuesday — 57 have been confirmed in the last seven days with 233 cases associated with those outbreaks. A community setting outbreak is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases in a setting and in people of different households over the past 14 days.

Categories: Coronavirus, Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News