California Gov. Gavin Newsom sent out a plea for nurses to consider coming to the Golden State, which is currently spiraling amid the coronavirus crisis.
He said Tuesday that California currently needs about 3,000 additional temporary medical workers, a shortage so severe that he’s asking Australia to help.
Hospitals in Los Angeles are struggling to keep up with the flow of COVID-19 patients coming into the emergency rooms. The ICU capacity in Southern California is down to less than 2%, meaning there are just about 100 free ICU beds for a population of about 10 million people.
Hospital morgues are also at capacity, as 60 refrigerated trucks have been brought into store the overflow of the deceased.
But there is hope on the horizon, as UCLA Medical Center administered their first COVID-19 vaccines Wednesday. Though the vaccine roll-out across the nation seems to be running smoothly, concern has grown that a major snowstorm hitting the northeast will disrupt the inoculation’s delivery. UPS said it had a team of meteorologists monitoring the weather, while FedEx and the USPS said they have contingency plans in place as well.
At the same time, authorities across the country continue to face backlash for enforcing precautions put in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Joyce Warshaw, the former mayor of Dodge City, Kansas, said she was threatened for supporting a mask mandate. The backlash ultimately forced her to quit, she said.