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Kaiser closing many Southern California clinics to slow coronavirus spread

Kaiser Permanente is closing numerous medical offices in Southern California because of the coronavirus outbreak.
(Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times)

Kaiser Permanente announced Thursday it is temporarily closing numerous medical offices and clinics throughout Southern California, citing concerns with the spread of the coronavirus.

“The health and safety of our members is always our top priority,” the healthcare consortium wrote in a statement on its website. “In an effort to limit additional exposure to COVID-19 throughout the community, we have decided to temporarily close or limit services. By doing this, we are able to coordinate care and combine much-needed medical equipment and staff while still providing high-quality care to our members.”

Kaiser will suspend or limit services at locations throughout the Southland, including in the Antelope Valley, Downey, Kern County, Los Angeles, Orange County, Panorama City, Pasadena, the Inland Empire, San Diego, the South Bay and Ventura County.

These are some of the unusual new scenes across the Southland during the coronavirus outbreak.

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All of Kaiser’s Target clinics also are temporarily closed.

A full list of affected facilities is available here.

Kaiser had announced on March 27 it was going to be consolidating services.

Hospitals and public health agencies have been working to manage the flow of patients as the coronavirus spreads.

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Several groups of researchers are testing different methods to divert critically ill COVID-19 patients from needing ventilators in the first place.

So far, hospitals have said they have not been overwhelmed by the number of patients, and the state says it thinks it has enough respirators for now.

Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this week announced 500 state-owned ventilators would be loaned to New York and other coronavirus hot spots outside California. That has caught some officials in his own state off guard as they scramble to acquire the much-needed medical equipment, particularly in Riverside County.

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Riverside County officials said the state recently denied their request for an additional 500 ventilators, even though the county expects demand for the breathing machines at county hospitals and medical centers to exceed the supply in less than three weeks.

Santa Clara County, another area hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, is offering a $1,000 bounty for each device it receives and has ordered companies with the devices to report their inventory to the county.

Coronavirus deaths in California have soared past 500, capping several days that saw numerous fatalities even as officials voiced guarded optimism about the state’s overall outlook.

California has not seen the death toll of virus hot spots such as New York, where more than 4,000 have died. And while the virus continues to spread rapidly in some places, including Los Angeles County, there are signs that its growth could be slowing in parts of the Bay Area.


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