Coronavirus patients are overwhelming many Los Angeles County emergency rooms and intensive care units, and hospitals are seeing ripple effects that harm operations and care across the medical network.

With 700 nurses from primary care clinics diverted to hospitals and other critical needs, county officials have been forced to temporarily shut five public primary care clinics across the county and reduce hours at most of the others, which provide children with immunizations and where people with chronic diseases have their medications managed.

“We have kept a skeleton crew to continue to work in our outpatient clinics,” said Dr. Christina Ghaly, the L.A. County director of health services. “But overall, our capacity for outpatient services is much less than it is in routine times.”

This means that patients with chronic illnesses will be at greater risk of needing to go to the emergency room if they become more seriously ill because of the lack of outpatient care.

Read the full story at LATimes.com.


By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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