The state will deploy U.S. Army experts as soon as Saturday, Jan. 2, to evaluate and and upgrade oxygen-delivery systems at six older Los Angeles County hospitals overwhelmed by the unprecedented number of coronavirus patients with serious respiratory issues.

The hospitals to be assisted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are:

  • Adventist Health White Memorial Hospital, Los Angeles
  • Emanate Health Queen of the Valley Hospital,West Covina
  • Mission Community Hospital, Panorama City
  • Beverly Community Hospital, Montebello
  • Lakewood Regional Medical Center, Lakewood
  • PIH Health Hospital, Downey

“By working to upgrade challenged oxygen delivery systems at these older hospitals we can improve the ability to deliver life sustaining medical care to those who need it,” Mark Ghilarducci, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services said in a Friday, Jan. 1, news release.

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The Army Corps of Engineers’ team of design and construction experts will assess facilities and offer technical assistance and engineering expertise, including contracting and construction management support.

Hospitals in Southern California are being overwhelmed from the third — and largest — wave of coronavirus patients that health care experts have attributed to informal gatherings since Thanksgiving that prompted the latest round of stay-at-home orders.

Earlier this month, for example, PIH Health in Downey reported it had 45 hospitalized coronavirus patients, compared with nine in early November.

Earlier this week, the county reported that the number of intensive-care patients with coronavirus was up 1000% from two months ago.

And county supervisor Janice Hahn called for the return of the Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy, which was deployed to San Pedro earlier this year, to help deal with the newest coronavirus surge.


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