The availability of intensive care beds in Southern California and the Central Valley hit alarming new lows as hospitals continued to see an influx of new COVID-19 patients in a surge that shows no signs of slowing.

“Like a speeding car approaching a cliff, if we do not rapidly change course, we are in jeopardy of catastrophic consequences,” Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said during a briefing Thursday.

In Southern California, ICU availability fell to 7.7% on Thursday, down from 9% the day before, the latest data show. The state defines the region as Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

The situation was even more dire in the San Joaquin Valley region, which is reporting 1.9% availability, down from 4.2%.

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By Richard Moran

Richard Moran loves to write about sports with the Golden State Online. Before that, he worked as a senior writer at ESPN. Richard grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2004, after which he worked as an editor for five years.

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