MediterraneanGrocery Wholesalers in Los Angeles, CA

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The Largest Selection of Wholesale Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products in Los Angeles

When it comes to trying new, exciting cuisine, few foods hit the spot like a deliciously fresh Mediterranean meal. However, we know that it can be very difficult to find authentic Mediterranean grocery wholesalers in Los Angeles, CA. Having lived in metro Atlanta for years, we realized that our customers needed an easy way to find quality wholesale Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food in bulk. That is why we created Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market – to give everyone a chance to enjoy tasty, healthy food, desserts, and authentic Mediterranean gifts at wholesale prices.

Founded in 2009, Nazareth Grocery has become one of Los Angeles’s leading international wholesale grocery stores. We are very proud to serve our customers and do everything in our power to give them the largest selection of high-quality wholesale goods available.

If you’re looking for the freshest, most delicious Middle Eastern wholesale products and ingredients, you will find them here at the best prices in the state. We encourage you to swing by our store in Marietta to see our selection for yourself. We think that you will be impressed!

The Nazareth Difference

At Nazareth Grocery Mediterranean Market, our mission is simple: bring you and your family the largest selection of wholesale Mediterranean products in Los Angeles. When coupled with our helpful, friendly staff and authentic Middle Eastern atmosphere, it’s easy to see why we are the top Middle Eastern grocery wholesaler in Los Angeles, CA. We’re proud to carry just about every kind of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern product that you can think of, from prepared meals and hookahs to fine seasonings and sweets. We’re here for our customers and want each one of them to have a unique, one-of-a-kind experience when they shop with us.

Our loyal customers love our selection of the following wholesale foods and gifts:

  • Fresh Breads
  • OlivesOlives
  • HummusHummus
  • CheesesCheeses
  • SaucesSauces
  • Savory-FoodsSavory Foods
  • DessertsDesserts
  • DrinksDrinks
  • HookahsHookahs
  • TobaccoTobacco
  • SaucesGifts
  • Much More!Much More!

Our Service Areas

Most Popular Wholesale Mediterranean Foods

There is so much more to Mediterranean food than pizza and pasta. The perfect climate combined with delicious foods and amazing wine makes the Mediterranean incredibly irresistible. That’s why our customers absolutely love to buy this kind of cuisine in bulk. Every country in this region has its own set of specialties and delicacies, each with its own flavors and styles of preparation.

Mediterranean countries include:

  • France
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Turkey
  • Syria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Tunisia
  • Spain

So, when it comes to the most popular wholesale Mediterranean products in Los Angeles,
what are we talking about?

Feta Cheese

Feta Cheese

Feta cheese is a classic Mediterranean dairy product that is often enjoyed on its own, in Greek salads, on bread, or mixed with zucchini. Depending on where the feta is sourced and produced, the cheese can be made from cow, sheep, or goat milk, or even a combination of the three. Regardless of the animal it comes from, this delicious cheese is a crowd favorite.

Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush

This Levantine dish is one of the most well-known Mediterranean dishes to eat in the United States. It typically comes in the form of a dip, served with pita or another kind of dipping bread. Commonly served before dinner as an appetizer of sorts, it usually features tahini, eggplant, garlic, spices, and sometimes yogurt. This tasty cuisine works great as a spread on a sandwich, or you can even eat it with a spoon, all on its own.

Baklava

Baklava

If you have never tried authentic baklava before, get ready to have your mind blown. This dessert is a traditional Mediterranean food that will have your taste buds craving more and more. Once you open a box of baklava from our Mediterranean grocery wholesaler in Los Angeles, CA, you won’t want to stop eating! Baklava is made with layers of thin filo dough, which is layered together, filled with chopped nuts (think pistachios), and sealed with honey or syrup. Baklava is so good that its origins are debated, leaving many wondering which country invented the dessert. Everyone from the Turks to the Greeks and even Middle Easterners hold unique takes on baklava. Try each one to discover your favorite!

Most Popular Wholesale Middle Eastern Foods

Fresh, healthy, aromatic, rich: it’s no wonder that the popularity of Middle Eastern cuisine and products has skyrocketed in the United States. This genre of cuisine features a large variety of foods, from Halvah to Labneh. If there were one common theme throughout all Middle Eastern food, it would be the bright, vibrant herbs and spices that are used. These flavorings help create rich, complex flavors that foodies fawn over. Typically, Middle Eastern food is piled high for all to eat, with enough food for an entire republic to put down.

Tabbouleh

This refreshing, healthy dish is chock-full of greens, herbs, tomatoes, and bulgur (or cracked wheat), creating a memorable, bold flavor. This dish may be eaten on its own or paired with a shawarma sandwich or helping of falafel. It’s best to buy your ingredients in bulk to make this dish because it tastes best freshly made with family around to enjoy. Just be sure to bring a toothpick to the tabbouleh party – you’re almost certain to have some leafy greens stuck in your teeth after eating.

Shawarma

Shawarma

We mentioned shawarma above, and for good reason – this dish is enjoyed by men and women around the world, and of course, right here in the U.S. Except for falafel, this might be the most popular Middle Eastern food item in history. Shawarma is kind of like a Greek gyro, with slow-roasted meat stuffed in laffa with veggies and sauce. The blend of spices and the smoky meat mix together to create a tangy, meaty flavor that you will want to keep eating for hours. For western-style shawarma, try using beef or chicken. For a more traditional meal, try using lamb from our Middle Eastern grocery distributor in Los Angeles, CA.

Hummus

Hummus

Traditionally used as a dip meant for fresh pita, hummus is a combo of chickpeas, garlic, and tahini, blended together until silky, smooth, and creamy. You can find hummus in just about any appetizer section of a Middle Eastern restaurant menu. That’s because it’s considered a staple of Middle Eastern food that can be enjoyed by itself, as a spread, or with fresh-baked pita bread. Hummus is also very healthy, making it a no-brainer purchase from our grocery store.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

If there’s one diet that is most well-known for its health benefits, it has got to be the Mediterranean diet. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report listed the Mediterranean diet as No. 1 on its best over diet list. This incredible diet has been cited to help with weight loss, brain health, heart health, diabetes prevention, and cancer prevention.

Whether you already love Mediterranean food or you’re looking to make some positive changes in your life, this “diet” is for you. Eating cuisine like Greek food, Persian food, Turkish food, and Italian food is healthy and tastes great. Even better than that? At Nazareth Wholesale Grocery, we have many staples of the Mediterranean diet for sale in bulk so that you can stock up on your favorites at the best prices around.

So, what exactly is the Mediterranean diet?

It is a way of eating that incorporates traditional Greek, Italian, and other Mediterranean cultures’ foods. These foods are often plant-based and make up the foundation of the diet, along with olive oil. Fish, seafood, dairy, and poultry are also included in moderation. Red meat and sweets are only eaten in moderation, not in abundance. Mediterranean food includes many forms of nuts, fruits, vegetables, fish, seeds, and more. Of course, you can find at them all at our wholesale Mediterranean grocery store!

Here are just a few of the many benefits of eating a healthy Mediterranean diet:

Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

Reduced Risk
of Heart Disease

Many studies have been conducted on this diet, many of which report that Mediterranean food is excellent for your heart. Some of the most promising evidence comes from a randomized clinical trial published in 2013. For about five years, researchers followed 7,000 men and women around the country of Spain. These people had type 2 diabetes or were at a high risk for cardiovascular disease. Participants in the study who ate an unrestricted Mediterranean diet with nuts and extra-virgin olive oil were shown to have a 30% lower risk of heart events.

Reduced Risk of Stroke for Women

Reduced Risk
of Stroke for Women

In addition to the heart-healthy benefits of a Mediterranean diet, studies have shown that eating healthy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods can reduce the chances of stroke in women. The study was conducted in the U.K., which included women between the ages of 40 and 77. Women who stuck to the Mediterranean diet showed a lower risk of having a stroke – especially women who were at high risk of having one.

Benefits of Eating a Mediterranean Diet

First and foremost, purchase your Mediterranean and Middle Eastern wholesale foods from Nazareth Grocery – we’re always updating our inventory! Getting started on this healthy, delicious diet is easy.

Try these tips:

Try these tips

1.

Instead of unhealthy sweets like candy and ice cream, try eating fresh fruit instead. It’s refreshing, tasty, and often packed with great vitamins and nutrients.

2.

Try eating fish twice a week, in lieu of red meat. Fish is much healthier and doesn’t have the unfortunate side effects of red meat, like inflammation.

3.

Try planning out your meals using beans, whole grains, and veggies. Don’t start with meats and sweets.

4.

They’re tasty, but try to avoid processed foods completely.

5.

Instead of using butter to flavor your food, use extra virgin olive oil instead. Olive oil contains healthy fats and tastes great too.

6.

Try to get more exercise and get out of the house. The Mediterranean lifestyle is an active one, best enjoyed in the beautiful sunshine when possible.

Why Buy Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Products Wholesale?

Buying wholesale and retail are quite different. When you buy products from a wholesaler, you’re essentially buying from the middleman between a retail establishment and the manufacturer. Wholesale purchases are almost always made in bulk. Because of that, buyers pay a discounted price. That’s great for normal buyers and great for business owners, who can sell those products to profit. This higher price is called the retail price, and it is what traditional customers pay when they enter a retail store.

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Latest News in Los Angeles

California surpasses 7 million coronavirus cases, adding 1 million in one week

California has recorded more than 7 million coronavirus cases after its fastest accumulation of reported infections in the history of the pandemic.The unprecedented count, recorded in California’s databases late Monday, comes one week after the state tallied its ...

California has recorded more than 7 million coronavirus cases after its fastest accumulation of reported infections in the history of the pandemic.

The unprecedented count, recorded in California’s databases late Monday, comes one week after the state tallied its 6 millionth coronavirus case.

Even during last winter’s disastrous wave, new infections increased more slowly. It took a little over three weeks for California to get from 2 million cumulative coronavirus case to 3 million.

The stunning speed of new infections is a testament to the Omicron variant’s transmissability; Omicron is believed to be two to four times more contagious than the Delta variant, which in turn was more infectious than earlier strains that pummeled California last winter.

“Let’s not fool ourselves by not recognizing the danger presented by the Omicron variant, which is capable of spreading with lightning speed and causing serious illness among our most vulnerable residents,” Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.

California’s daily COVID-19 death rate has also risen dramatically. For the most recent seven-day period, the state was recording 106 deaths a day; that’s roughly double the last week of 2021, when 55 deaths a day were tallied.

At its worst, California’s COVID-19 death rate over a weekly period was 545 deaths a day, reached during late January 2021.

In Los Angeles County, the COVID-19 death rate has doubled in the last week. For the seven-day period that ended Tuesday, the county was averaging 45 deaths a day; in the prior week, the average was 20 deaths a day.

L.A. County’s peak death rate last year was about 240 deaths a day.

Although some health officials have said the recent COVID-19 deaths are probably the result of the Delta variant, the L.A. County Department of Public Health in recent days has noted that many fatalities have occurred among people who were infected when Omicron was clearly the dominant variant.

On Saturday, Los Angeles public health officials said that “the majority of deaths reported this week are associated with individuals who became infected after Dec. 20, when Omicron was circulating widely,” suggesting the variant may have a bigger role in COVID-19 deaths than initially believed.

The dramatic surge in infections is contributing to strained hospitals across swaths of California, many of which have said they’ve been forced to cancel scheduled surgeries amid crushing demand in emergency rooms.

“While vaccines and boosters provide powerful protection, those who are older, have serious health conditions or are immunocompromised remain at higher risk,” Ferrer said. “We still don’t know the longer-term consequences from Omicron infections, including the development of long COVID or MIS-C among children.”

The high rate of infections has also contributed to even scarcer staffing in hospitals. California’s state epidemiologist, Dr. Erica Pan, said last week that “we are seeing near-crisis levels” of emergency room overcrowding in certain areas.

With fewer hospital workers, it’s harder to admit patients from the ER, which then keeps ambulances waiting for long periods to drop off patients, resulting in a worsening of 911 response times to new callers, Pan said.

The number of patients admitted to hospitals for all reasons last week was nearing the state’s pandemic record. As of the middle of last week, there were 52,400 patients in California’s hospitals, just shy of the record 53,000 admitted during the worst of last winter’s surge, when many hospitals were overwhelmed.

By Monday, there were 2,311 coronavirus-positive patients in California’s intensive care units, a number that exceeds the height of the summer Delta surge, when there were 2,128. Still, the latest number remains well below the state’s record of 4,868 recorded during last winter’s peak, a time when few people were immunized.

There were 14,639 coronavirus-positive patients in California’s hospitals on Monday, more than double the number on New Year’s Day, when there were 6,237. The latest number exceeds the height of California’s summer surge, when 8,353 coronavirus-positive patients were hospitalized, but is far below the peak experienced last winter, when the number reached 21,938.

However, coronavirus-related hospital demand has already reached record levels in some areas. In Sacramento County, 570 coronavirus-positive patients were hospitalized Monday, above the previous peak of 518 seen last winter.

The same is true in Marin County, where Monday’s census of 44 patients topped the peak of 39 recorded last January. And with 256 coronavirus-positive patients, San Francisco is three shy of matching its all-time high.

“With the rise of the hospitalizations due to COVID-19, many of our hospitals are reaching capacity in delivering emergency care to patients,” said Dr. Clayton Chau, Orange County’s health officer and director of the county Health Care Agency.

But in Northern California, some officials have expressed hope that the winter wave may soon crest.

In Santa Clara County, Northern California’s most populous county, coronavirus levels in wastewater started declining about 1½ weeks ago. Officials expect the dip will presage a sustained decline in coronavirus cases.

And the exponential growth in California’s case rate also appears to be leveling off, although it probably will take a few days — following any reporting backlog from the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend — to be sure.

According to data released Tuesday that reflect numbers through Monday, California was averaging 104,000 cases a day for the most recent seven-day period, slightly above the prior week’s rate of 101,000; the week before, the state was reporting 55,000 cases a day. California’s case rate reached a high of more than 115,000 cases a day in the middle of last week, and fluctuated between 114,000 and 115,000 for a few days.

Some of the state’s most populous regions may be starting to see a leveling in case rates. Southern California recorded 69,000 new cases a day over the most recent seven-day period, about flat compared with the 71,000 from a week earlier. The week before, the region tallied 39,000 cases a day.

L.A. County posted a record number of coronavirus cases last week, nearly 42,000 a day. But based on numbers released since then, the county is now averaging about 38,000 cases a day.

The Bay Area is now averaging about 19,000 coronavirus cases a day, a rate that has fluctuated between 18,000 and 22,000 for roughly the last week. The Greater Sacramento area recorded about 5,500 cases a day for the most recent weekly period. The capital region has been fluctuating between 5,000 and 6,000 cases recently.

In the Greater San Joaquin Valley, a region that has generally lagged behind trends in Southern California and the Bay Area, cases are still going up. The area tallied 9,300 cases a day over the last week, higher than the 6,500 cases a day for the prior week; the week before that, the region recorded 2,900 cases a day.

In rural Northern California, about 750 cases a day were reported in the last week, up from about 680 the week before, and more than double the roughly 300 cases a day the sparsely populated region reported two weeks ago.

The rate at which California’s coronavirus tests are coming back positive has started to decline. For the seven-day period that ended Jan. 10, California hit a record positive test rate of 23.1%. Since then, the rate fell to 21.5% for the seven-day period that ended Saturday. The rate is still very high; by comparison, in early December, it was around 2%.

A similar trend is holding for Los Angeles County. L.A. County’s seven-day positive result rate may have peaked at 22.7% for the seven-day period that ended Jan. 3; for the weekly period that ended Tuesday, the positivity rate was 16.3%. In the first week of December, it was around 1%.

Meanwhile, some states on the East Coast that were hit earlier by the Omicron wave have started to see a sustained decline in cases. New York recorded a peak of about 85,000 new coronavirus cases a day for the seven-day period that ended Jan. 9; that figure has fallen to 49,000 a day for the seven-day period that ended Monday.

California approaches pandemic record for all hospitalizations

In a stunning sign of the heavy burden facing California’s healthcare system, the total number of people hospitalized statewide is approaching the peak of last winter’s COVID-19 surge, even as there are indications that the rise in coronavirus-positive patients may be starting to ebb.Late last week, California averaged 52,000 people d...

In a stunning sign of the heavy burden facing California’s healthcare system, the total number of people hospitalized statewide is approaching the peak of last winter’s COVID-19 surge, even as there are indications that the rise in coronavirus-positive patients may be starting to ebb.

Late last week, California averaged 52,000 people daily in its hospitals for all reasons — more than was seen during any seven-day period during the summer Delta surge. California’s pandemic record of 55,000 people hospitalized daily was set last winter, according to state Department of Public Health data reviewed by The Times.

Coronavirus-positive patients continue to account for a wide margin of the overall census. As of Tuesday, 15,179 such patients were hospitalized statewide, the highest since Jan. 29, 2021, state data show.

The number of coronavirus-positive patients in California’s intensive care units has also surpassed the summer peak.

On Tuesday, California recorded 2,404 coronavirus-positive ICU patients; the summer peak was 2,128. Still, the latest figure is a fraction of the pandemic high of 4,868 coronavirus-positive patients in the ICU, recorded on Jan. 10, 2021.

However, there are some signs hospitalization increases are growing less steep. From Dec. 28 to Jan. 4, the overall number of hospitalized coronavirus-positive patients swelled 69%. The next week, it rose 53%.

The growth from Jan. 11 to Tuesday was far more modest: about 23%.

But even with the apparent slowdown, some areas — including Sacramento and San Francisco counties — are at all-time highs for coronavirus-related hospitalizations.

In recent weeks, California’s emergency rooms have experienced strain even worse than during last winter’s deadly surge.

Earlier this month, California was averaging 47,000 daily emergency room visits for all reasons over a weekly period. By contrast, visits during the summer Delta surge peaked at 42,000.

The recent peak in overall emergency room visits has been worsened by those seeking coronavirus-related treatment in ERs, where there have been nearly 12,000 recent daily visits for this type of treatment across California. That’s worse than the previous record of nearly 11,000 visits a day, recorded last winter.

California’s state epidemiologist, Dr. Erica Pan, said last week that “we are seeing near-crisis levels” of emergency room overcrowding in some areas.

With fewer hospital workers, it’s harder to admit patients from the ER, which then keeps ambulances waiting for long periods to drop off patients, resulting in a worsening of 911 response times to new callers, Pan said.

Many hospital emergency rooms have been so crowded, and staffing so scarce because of employee infections, that a number of scheduled surgeries and procedures have been postponed. Those delays can affect the health of people needing treatment for cancer or other important medical issues, in which prompt care can make a difference.

“It’s just harder to try to be in so many places with all of our patients,” said Sandra Beltran, a registered nurse in the emergency room at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar. “It’s tiring. You’re literally, for 12 hours, going from room to room.”

Because the hospital is short on staff, patients being treated in the emergency room have waited 20 or 30 hours for a bed elsewhere in the hospital, Beltran said. That has a domino effect on the ER, where waits grow longer and staff have had to find new ways to assess patients.

“People are being seen in the hallway,” the nurse said. “We’ve come to that.”

Officials have also urged residents to avoid coming to the emergency room for non-emergency reasons — such as getting coronavirus testing.

“Do not show up to the emergency room and ask to be tested because what you do is you bombard the emergency room,” said Dr. Clayton Chau, Orange County’s health officer.

In Arcadia, Methodist Hospital of Southern California is licensed for more than 300 beds but was able to staff fewer than 200 on Wednesday, limiting how many patients could be admitted, according to Senior Vice President Cliff Daniels.

“We continue to scramble every day to find nurses so we can staff more beds” because so many healthcare workers are either infected or caring for family, he said.

So far, the hospital has not sought to immediately bring back asymptomatic healthcare workers who have tested positive for the coronavirus — a step that California authorized to ease staff shortages at hospitals. It is, instead, relying on travel and registry nurses when it can hire them.

The staffing strain at the Arcadia hospital has collided with its growing number of COVID-19 patients, which surged from zero to 60 in the past month and a half, Daniels said.

The result is a logjam for patients being treated in the emergency room but who are ill or injured enough to need to be admitted. Daniels said the wait for a bed to open has exceeded 50 hours.

At Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, there were only eight patients hospitalized with COVID a little over a month ago. That number now exceeds 100, “a phenomenal increase in a very short period of time,” chief executive Dr. Bernard Klein said.

Some people dismiss the threat of Omicron, but “tell that to the 11 patients in my ICU who are fighting to survive,” Klein said, urging people to get vaccinated against the virus and follow up with booster shots. “It still is a very dangerous infection.”

This time around, “what has made this surge so unique and challenging is that the Omicron variant is so infectious that it’s hitting our employees and their families,” the hospital executive added. As of Wednesday morning, Klein said roughly 8% of the hospital’s workforce was out and it was operating at more than 90% of its capacity.

The hospital has again set up a tent to sort patients outside, reopened designated units to care solely for COVID patients and is holding off on inpatient elective surgeries that are not “emergent or urgent” — the result of shortages in both staff and blood, Klein said.

“Our ER, and pretty much every ER that I know of, is holding patients that are admitted because we don’t have a bed in the main hospital,” the hospital executive said. That “has potentially huge ramifications,” including longer waits for new patients trying to get into the emergency room and delays in unloading ambulances and sending them back out, he said.

The one-two punch of patient demand and staffing shortages is also straining intensive care units. Statewide, the proportion of staffed adult ICU beds that are available has fallen from 22% at the start of the month to just above 16% as of Tuesday, state data show.

In the San Joaquin Valley, the share is even lower: 10.3%. That state-defined region covers Calaveras, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Benito, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare and Tuolumne counties.

Should the region’s hospitals report having less than 10% of their ICU beds available for three straight days, state health officials will implement surge protocols.

Across Southern California — which the state defines as Imperial, Inyo, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties — 15.4% of cumulative staffed adult ICU beds were available as of Tuesday.

“Staffed” is the key there. As Chau noted Tuesday, “If you have an ICU bed, you have a ventilator, but you do not have staff to work it, it is a non-usable ICU bed.”

Although some health officials have said the recent COVID-19 deaths are probably the result of the Delta variant, the L.A. County Department of Public Health in recent days has noted that many fatalities have occurred among people who were infected when Omicron was clearly the dominant variant.

Officials are now warning of a significant death rate this winter, potentially worse than during the summer Delta wave. Already, Los Angeles County’s death rate in recent days has exceeded that of the summer surge.

As of Tuesday, L.A. County was averaging 45 COVID-19 deaths a day over the last week, a rate that has doubled in a week. Over the summer, L.A. County tallied a peak death rate of 37 deaths a day.

“Tragically, we are prepared for an even higher number of deaths in the coming week,” L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. “With unvaccinated individuals 22 times more likely to die from COVID-19 compared to those fully vaccinated, residents should not delay getting vaccinated and boosted, as these measures are saving lives.”

California has averaged about 106 COVID-19 deaths a day over the last week, a rate that has doubled since the end of December. During the state’s summer surge, California peaked at 135 deaths a day.

Nationwide, the United States has been averaging between 1,700 and 1,900 COVID-19 deaths a day, around the same as summertime. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that death rates will be stable or worsen in the coming weeks, with 1,500 to 5,000 deaths a day in the week leading up to Valentine’s Day.

The CDC has warned that its models have been less reliable recently, with actual deaths greater than what had been forecast.

What is the expected impact from California coast tsunami event? Here’s what we know

Here is what we know:What is the expected impact?Officials are expecting waves of 1 to 2 feet in parts of Southern California, but widespread inundation or flooding is not expected. However, it is expected to produce strong currents “that may be hazardous to swimmers, boats, moorings and coastal structures,” the National Weather Service said.Kristan Lund, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Oxnard, said water surge can “bend around the island and it can also bounce off the shores.”...

Here is what we know:

What is the expected impact?

Officials are expecting waves of 1 to 2 feet in parts of Southern California, but widespread inundation or flooding is not expected. However, it is expected to produce strong currents “that may be hazardous to swimmers, boats, moorings and coastal structures,” the National Weather Service said.

Kristan Lund, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Oxnard, said water surge can “bend around the island and it can also bounce off the shores.”

What is a tsunami advisory?

According to the National Weather Service, an advisory means that the “potential for strong currents or waves dangerous to those in or very near the water is expected or occurring. There may be flooding of beach and harbor areas. Stay out of the water and away from beaches and waterways. Follow instructions from local officials.” An advisory is less severe than a warning, which is issued when an event can cause widespread flooding.

What should people at the beach do?

Source: L.A. County Beaches; Orange County Sheriff‘s Department

What is the timing?

The first signs of tsunami activity began around 7:30 a.m. on the California coast and rippled down the coast through 8:30 a.m. But the activity will continue for hours, and the biggest waves might not be the first.

National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Garcia said in a morning briefing that surges were expected to continue throughout “the vast majority of the daylight hours.”

“But we should see the amplitude start to come down as we get into the afternoon and late afternoon hours,” he said. When the surge falls below one foot and remains there for three hours, the advisory will be lifted, he said.

“The arriving tsunami will come in pulses of surging water levels onto and off of the coast, similar to “high tide.” Do not expect to identify these arriving pulses by large cresting waves/surf,” the National Weather Service in San Francisco said. “These water level surges can overwhelm and overtake people and pull them out to sea.”

Orange County officials said the tsunami could produce dangerous currents and tidal surges throughout the day that would make swimming hazardous. Strong currents were expected in harbors and bays for several hours.

Officials expect the hazardous conditions to continue through the day.

“Tsunamis often arrive as a series of waves or surges which could be dangerous for many hours after the first wave arrival. The first tsunami wave or surge may not be the highest in the series,” the National Weather Service in San Diego said.

As hospitals reel, California tells coronavirus-positive medical workers to stay on the job

Daylong waits in the emergency room. No one to answer the phones. No one to take out the trash. And more patients arriving each day.That’s the scene playing out at some hospitals across Southern California as the Omicron-fueled surge of COVID-19 contributes to a crippling shortage of doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers. While Omicron is causing significantly fewer serious illnesses ...

Daylong waits in the emergency room. No one to answer the phones. No one to take out the trash. And more patients arriving each day.

That’s the scene playing out at some hospitals across Southern California as the Omicron-fueled surge of COVID-19 contributes to a crippling shortage of doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers. While Omicron is causing significantly fewer serious illnesses than last year’s winter surge, the unprecedented number of people becoming infected has left the medical infrastructure on edge.

State officials are attempting to address California’s staffing shortage through a sweeping policy change that allows asymptomatic healthcare workers who have tested positive for the coronavirus to return to work immediately. The policy, set to remain in place through Feb. 1, is designed to keep many healthcare workers on the job at a time when hospitals are expecting more patients.

Some experts say California’s stance is an unorthodox yet necessary solution to a difficult problem. Yet many healthcare workers and community members say the policy is not only ill-advised, it’s potentially dangerous.

“The situation just feels so hopeless,” said Erin McIntosh, a rapid-response nurse at Riverside Community Hospital. “I went into healthcare wanting to help people, but now I’m the vector. Someone is coming to me in their time of need, and I could potentially be passing them COVID.”

McIntosh said Monday that more than 300 nurses and many other staff members at the hospital are out sick because of COVID-19, and that those who remain are stretched to the brink. Some nurses are having to take on far too many patients, while others can’t even find an assistant to help bring patients to the bathroom.

But potentially exposing patients to hospital workers who have tested positive — even if the workers are not feeling ill or showing symptoms — is not the solution, McIntosh said. Already, she has heard of coronavirus-positive workers attending to women in labor, chemotherapy patients and patients in neonatal intensive care.

“Now they’re even more vulnerable,” she said.

The California Department of Public Health said hospitals are reaching capacity, and the decision was driven in large part by staffing shortages making it difficult to provide essential care.

“Given those conditions, the department is providing temporary flexibility to help hospitals and emergency services providers respond to an unprecedented surge and staffing shortages,” the agency said.

According to the guidelines, hospitals should exhaust all other options before resorting to the new policy, and workers who have tested positive for the virus should “preferably be assigned to work with COVID-19 positive patients.” The workers must always wear N95 masks.

The announcement was met with outrage by many in the healthcare industry.

The decision is “irresponsible and a huge mistake that will jeopardize everyone’s health,” said Rosanna Mendez, executive director of SEIU 121RN, a union representing workers in Southern California. “This plan is unscientific and dangerous, and, given what we know about the transmissibility of the new variant, we believe it will put healthcare workers and patients at unnecessary risk.”

But some experts say that patients who are seen by asymptomatic workers following proper protocols are relatively safe, and that the policy — while not perfect — is a necessary stopgap to keep the system from collapsing.

“Is the situation ideal? No,” said Dr. Robert-Kim Farley, an epidemiologist and infectious-diseases expert at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. “Is it the lesser of the two evils of having no one to care for patients, versus having staff caring for them that may have COVID? Yes, it’s the lesser of two evils.”

Kim-Farley said the policy is a recognition of the significant strain hospitals are experiencing amid an increased number of patients and decreased number of staff. The chances of transmission from an asymptomatic worker are minimal, he said, particularly since he or she would be practicing precautions, including wearing high-grade medical masks.

But, he added, “when patient loads start to drop, and also staff shortages are reduced, we should move away from this extraordinary approach.”

The situation in many hospitals already seems untenable, and some healthcare workers said the new policy is creating more stress for an already overloaded workforce. Others said it was hypocritical of the state to ask coronavirus-positive staffers to report for duty after instituting a vaccine mandate that cost some workers their jobs.

Gabriel Montoya, an emergency medical technician at Kaiser Downey, said when he arrived at work one day last week, there were still patients in the waiting room who had been sitting there when he left the night before.

All of the emergency department’s beds — including 80 in the ER and 20 in a tent outside — have been full since the start of the year, he said. Housekeepers, environmental service workers, delivery workers and even the lab workers who process COVID-19 tests are out sick.

Yet the policy change doesn’t account for the realities of daily patient care, which often necessitate “working inches away from each other,” he said. Instead of solving the problem, it could exacerbate it.

“You’re going to get more people sick,” Montoya said. “That’s what’s going to happen.”

What’s more, he said the change exposes not only patients and workers, but also their loved ones. Montoya cares for his mother at home.

“Workers are feeling like they’re being devalued — their own lives, their families’ lives — are being disrespected,” he said. “And then they’re being retraumatized by again having to go into the workplace facing obstacles that we didn’t have to face the day before.”

A spokesman for Kaiser said the company is adhering to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention while it reviews the new state policy. The CDC currently recommends that asymptomatic healthcare workers return to work after seven days with a negative test, although it, too, allows for the removal of those restrictions during times of crisis.

Dr. Joanne Spetz, director of the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at UC San Francisco, said the newness of Omicron makes it difficult to compare the risk of staffing shortages to the risk of patient exposure, as there is little data about the new variant with which to work.

One thing that is clear, however, is that understaffing poses a substantial risk to patients. Research has found that short staffing results in more deaths, more morbidity and more accidents and errors, she said.

“Hospitals are really stuck between a rock and a hard place, in that you really do have these staffing shortages and you have volumes of patients increasing,” Spetz said. “What do you do?”

Some hospitals, including Los Angeles County-USC — the largest public hospital in L.A. — are weighing the options. The L.A. County Department of Health Services is reviewing the proposed guidelines but has not yet issued an official policy, hospital officials said in an email.

“As always, when addressing any changes to our expected practices, L.A. County Department of Health Services will make adjustments that follow data-driven science and uphold our responsibility to the well-being of our staff, patients and the communities we serve,” they said.

California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said similarly Monday that the guidelines are not a requirement and asked healthcare systems to use the measure only if they’ve explored all other options.

But Tuesday, nurses and representatives with the SEIU 721 union gathered outside the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting in downtown to L.A. to speak out against the measure. The California Nurses Assn. said it was similarly planning a “day of action” Thursday to condemn the state’s decision.

Dr. Ileana Meza, an SEIU union chair and nurse practitioner at L.A. County-USC, said the staffing situation at the hospital was dire. When she arrived at work Monday, the parking lot looked empty because so many people were out sick. Thirty emergency room nurses and 40 operating room nurses called in sick last week, and some patients are waiting up to 20 hours for admission.

But there are other, safer solutions to the staffing crisis than asking coronavirus-positive healthcare workers to tend to patients, she said, including investing in more staffing, making efforts to improve compensation and morale, tightening visitor controls, canceling all non-elective and non-critical procedures and focusing on telemedicine.

“With this new decision, if you come to the hospital for a routine check, you may be checked in by a clerk who’s positive, you may have your vitals taken by a nurse who’s positive, you might be seen by a doctor who’s positive,” Meza said.

“That means you’re coming into the facility without the virus and you may contract the virus,” she said. “This is not the way to drive this pandemic down.”

Times staff writer Gregory Yee contributed to this report.

Testing Site in LA Says Child Tested Positive for ‘Flurona.' What to Know About the Co-Infection

A COVID testing site says it has detected a case of "flurona," a co-infection of the flu and coronavirus, in Los Angeles County.The case was detected four days ago at a testing site in Brentwood near the Getty Center. A child tested positive for both influenza and coronavirus after returning from a trip to Mexico, according to the testing company.“It was a family visiting from Mexico, from Cabo San Lucas,” said Steve Farzam, of 911 COVID Testing. "Some very mild symptoms, almost could be easily confus...

A COVID testing site says it has detected a case of "flurona," a co-infection of the flu and coronavirus, in Los Angeles County.

The case was detected four days ago at a testing site in Brentwood near the Getty Center. A child tested positive for both influenza and coronavirus after returning from a trip to Mexico, according to the testing company.

“It was a family visiting from Mexico, from Cabo San Lucas,” said Steve Farzam, of 911 COVID Testing. "Some very mild symptoms, almost could be easily confused with sinusitis."

The LA County Department of Public Health said it's the first widely publicized case in LA County, but health officials say they’ve seen it before and it’s likely to become more common.

Health officials had warned of the possibility of being infected simultaneously with both influenza and coronavirus, and encouraged people to get vaccinated against both. So while the two illnesses are not new, the term "flurona" was coined to indicate the presence of both respiratory ailments at the same time and does not indicate a distinct disease.

The child who tested positive was tested for both flu and coronavirus with a swab at the Brentwood site.

Flu and COVID-19 will be circulating this winter in communities throughout Los Angeles County, the health department said. Both can cause serious illness and death.

"Concurrent infection with more than one respiratory virus is exceedingly common and there is no reason to expect that SARS-CoV-2 should be an exception to this rule," the Los Angeles County Health Department said in a statement. "We have seen SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza multiplex test results where both influenza and SARS-CoV-2 were positive."

The health department does not track such co-infections, so it's difficult to say how many cases there are in Los Angeles County.

"The best way to prevent concurrent infection with Influenza and SARS-CoV-2 is to get vaccinated with both Influenza and COVID-19 vaccines, which are both highly-effective and can be administered at the same time," the health department said in its statement.

The flu and coronavirus can cause similar symptoms that include fever, cough, fatigue, runny nose, sore throat and diarrhea and muscle and body aches. Flu and COVID can both be fatal. People with underlying health conditions are at higher risk.

The viruses are transmitted similarly — droplets and aerosols spread through coughs, sneezes, talking, singing and breathing.

The department said that some LA County COVID test sites are already also testing for Influenza A & B.

The county has a list of frequently asked questions here for more information about "flurona."

The number of COVID-19-positive patients in Los Angeles County surged well above the 2,000 mark Tuesday amid a spike in infections that has seen daily case numbers skyrocket over the past two weeks.

According to state figures, there were 2,240 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals as of Tuesday, a jump from 1,994 on Monday. Of those patients, 303 were being treated in intensive care, an increase from 278 a day earlier.

The hospitalization number is the highest it has been since last February in the midst of another winter COVID surge. Due to rising patient numbers, the county Department of Public Health on Monday urged residents to avoid visiting hospital emergency rooms unless they urgently need emergency care.

The rising patient numbers, however, have led to concerns about the stability of the hospital system, with authorities saying staffing issues will limit hospitals' ability to rapidly expand patient capacity the way they did last winter, when COVID-positive patient numbers topped 8,000.

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer insisted Tuesday that people being treated for COVID in intensive care units are overwhelmingly unvaccinated. She against said statistics show that even though vaccinated people can become infected, they are far less likely to become seriously ill.

According to the county, for the week of Dec. 15-28, unvaccinated people were 21 times more likely to wind up in an ICU than vaccinated people.

"Even as transmission surges, we are seeing that vaccines are doing what they were intended to do, which is protect people from getting severely ill due to COVID,'' Ferrer said in a statement. ``We are grateful to the 80% of eligible residents who have already received at least one dose of vaccine -- and we hope that the almost 2 million people who have yet to be vaccinated take time to talk with their health care provider to receive additional information about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines.

"Choosing not to take the vaccine during this explosive winter surge is very risky since so many of those ill with COVID in the intensive care units at hospitals are unvaccinated, and tragically, some of these individuals will not survive,'' she said.

Editor's Note: The LA County Department of Public Health says it is not the first case of "flurona," but also that the department does not track or investigate individual cases of influenza.

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