CALIFORNIA — the country’s largest and richest state — is the new epicenter of America’s coronavirus crisis, with unprecedented surges of seriously infected patients threatening to overwhelm hospitals and overflow morgues.
The state is reporting unnerving numbers: California has set nationwide records for new cases again and again in the past week — most recently on Wednesday, when it posted more than 41,000 infections. If California were a country, it would be among the world leaders in new coronavirus cases, ahead of India, Germany and Britain.
The number of available beds in intensive care units is plummeting. In the San Joaquin Valley, hospitals ran out over the weekend, resorting to “surge capacity.” And in Southern California, a region that includes Los Angeles and San Diego, ICU capacity dipped to just 0.5 percent Wednesday.