By ROSA SANCHEZ, ERIN SCHUMAKER, IVAN PEREIRA, EMILY SHAPIRO and MEREDITH DELISO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 83.3 million people worldwide and killed over 1.8 million of them, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.Here’s how the news is developing Friday. All times Eastern:Jan 01, 10:37 amEmergency field hospital being built in North CarolinaConstruction on a 30-bed emergency field hospital is slated to start in western North Carolina Friday, as COVID-19 cases in the state continue to rise.The facility, which is being built next to Caldwell Memorial Hospital, will treat COVID patients who aren’t sick enough to need a ventilator and is meant to relieve pressure on five health systems in the region.As of Thursday, 3,472 people were hospitalized because of the virus, according to the state health department.Jan 01, 8:59 amMore people without underlying conditions dying from COVID-19 in LAEarly in the pandemic, 10% of patients who died from COVID-19 in Los Angeles County did not have underlying conditions, according to health officials. Today, that number has risen to 14% of patient deaths.”This indicates, that in fact, that more people than ever are not only passing away, but passing away without any underlying health conditions,” Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County department of public health, said during a New Year’s Eve news conference.
Hospitals in Los Angeles are currently overwhelmed to the point that ambulances are waiting hours in emergency bays with patients inside, which prevents medics from responding to additional emergency calls. The death toll in Los Angeles County stands at 10,345.Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.