Engineers and volunteers stand outside a mobile field hospital at UCI Medical Center, Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, in Orange, Calif. California’s overwhelmed hospitals are setting up makeshift extra beds for coronavirus patients, and a handful of facilities in hard-hit Los Angeles County are drawing up emergency plans in case they have to limit how many people receive life-saving care. Photo/Jae C. Hong

On Monday, the Department of Consumer Affairs in California issued a waiver that allows dentists in California to administer coronavirus vaccines authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration.

California has only administered about 450,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines out of nearly 1.9 million doses distributed to the state.

The state is seeing a scarcity of resources amid this surge of cases. Southern California has an alarming 0% availability of ICU capacity, according to the California Department of Public Health.

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Dentists in California can now administer vaccines, per a new order in the state.

On Monday, the Department of Consumer Affairs in California issued a waiver that lets California dentists administer vaccines authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration.

To date, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state has only vaccinated 1% of its 40 million people, according to the Associated Press. As of Monday, California has only administered about 450,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines out of nearly 1.9 million doses distributed to the state, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read more: 5 public health experts told us what the US needs to do right now to get COVID-19 under control

This order comes as California sees an overwhelming number of coronavirus cases. In the last week, cases have increased 12.3%, according to the COVID Tracking Project – Monday alone saw more than 29,000 new cases of the virus. As of Tuesday, the state has recorded nearly 2.5 million cases of COVID-19 and at least 26,880 deaths from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University.

California is seeing a scarcity of resources amid this surge of cases. Southern California has an alarming 0% availability of ICU capacity, and the Bay Area records a 7.9% available ICU Capacity as of Monday, according to the public health department.

Meanwhile, hospitals in the state are setting up field tents outside to make space for more patients, and some patients have been treated in a hospital gift shop. In Los Angeles County, which recorded a 905% uptick in the weekly average of cases since November 1, hospitals are struggling to provide enough oxygen supply for their patients.

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