COVID-19 cases continue to surge as California reports 50,000 additional cases, 493 deaths

Los Angeles, CA - January 07: A nurse Cherry Costales prépares Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at St. John's Well Child & Family Center on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

California is coping with its worst surge of the pandemic and some of the highest levels of COVID-19 in the country. 

Hospitals across southern California are overwhelmed with patients, oxygen used for treatment is running low and ambulances sometimes wait hours to unload patients.

On Friday, Jan. 8 the state reported 50,030 additional positive cases of COVID-19 and 493 deaths. 

To date the state has reported 2,568,641 total positive cases and 28,538 total deaths. 

According to the state’s website, over 35 million people have been tested for the virus since the start of the pandemic. 

The number of COVID-related deaths increased by 1.8% from the prior day total of 28,045. The number of positive cases increased by 2% from the prior day total. 

According to data from the state the 7-day positivity rate is 14.0% and the 14-day positivity rate is 13.3%

RELATED: California sees two-day record of coronavirus deaths

The California Department of Public Health issued a new public health order this week that requires some non-essential and non-life-threatening surgeries to be delayed in counties that have an ICU capacity of 10% or less and that are located in a region with an overall adjusted 0% capacity. That includes Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, Riverside, Imperial and San Bernardino counties.

The current available ICU capacity stands at:
•         Bay Area: 3.0%
•         Greater Sacramento: 6.4%
•         Northern California: 27.5%
•         San Joaquin Valley: 0.0%
•         Southern California: 0.0%

The state’s hospitals are trying to prepare for the possibility that they may have to ration care for lack of staff and beds — and hoping they don’t have to make that choice.

Hospitals statewide with room have been told to accept patients from others that have exhausted their ICU beds but in fact most of the state is reporting struggling to provide ICU beds, with non-COVID-19 patients spilling into corridors, tents and cafeterias.

Due to high hospitalization rates, California is under a Limited Stay at Home Order. The order applies to all counties that are currently under the Regional Stay at Home Order and those in Tier One (Purple) of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The state says the Limited Stay at Home Order will expire after the Regional Stay At Home Order has been terminated in all regions of the state.

The Associated Press contributed to this report 

Get your top stories delivered daily! Sign up for FOX 11’s Fast 5 newsletter. And, get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.