LOS ANGELES - Hospitals struggling to provide enough oxygen for the sickest coronavirus patients in the Los Angeles area received some relief Saturday when U.S. Army Corps of Engineers crews arrived.
Gov. Gavin Newsom's office says crews helped some aging hospitals update their oxygen delivery systems. Besides the shortage of oxygen, they're also having difficulty keeping with demand for oxygen tanks for discharged patients to take home.
The southern half of the state has seen the worst effects, with hospitals swamped with patients and full intensive care units. Makeshift wards are set up in tents, arenas, classrooms and conference rooms.
California started the new year on Friday with a record 585 coronavirus deaths in a single day. The state Department of Public Health on Saturday reported more than 53,341 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 2.3 million.
There's been 26,357 total confirmed deaths in California, making it the third state to exceed 25,000 deaths, behind New York (38,000) and Texas (28,000), according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.