California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday he may impose tougher coronavirus restrictions over the next two days, including a second stay-at-home order, to counter surging COVID-19 hospitalizations that threaten to overwhelm intensive care units before Christmas Eve.
Newsom said projections show ICU admissions are on track to exceed statewide capacity by mid-December unless public health policies and social behavior patterns are altered to further curb the spread of the virus.
‘California’s #COVID19 hospitalizations have increased by 89% in the last two weeks,’ Newsom tweeted on Monday. ‘If these trends continue, our current hospitalizations could increase by 2-3 times within ONE MONTH.’
Just an hour later, the governor tweeted: ‘This is the tipping point. CA has worked hard to prepare for a surge—but we can’t sustain the record high cases we’re seeing.
‘Current projections show CA will run out of current ICU beds before Christmas Eve. Please stay safe & stay home as much as you can for next few weeks.’
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California Governor Gavin Newsom (pictured) said he may impose tougher restrictions over the next two days, including a possible stay-at-home order, to counter surging COVID-19 hospitalizations that threaten to overwhelm intensive care units before Christmas Eve
‘California’s #COVID19 hospitalizations have increased by 89% in the last two weeks,’ Newsom tweeted on Monday. ‘If these trends continue, our current hospitalizations could increase by 2-3 times within ONE MONTH’
Tents are shown outside of a University of California at San Francisco medical center in San Francisco on Monday
About 59 per cent of California’s health care system beds were occupied as of Monday.
By December 24, that number is expected to rise to 78 per cent. In the Bay Area, 58 per cent of beds are in use and by Christmas Eve, projections show an increase to 78 per cent.
The continued surge in coronavirus cases in California prompted county officials to enact stricter COVID-19 restrictions on Monday, a day after the state broke a record with more than 7,400 coronavirus hospitalizations.
Health officials are preparing for a wave of virus cases over the next two or three weeks that could be linked to Thanksgiving gatherings.
Authorities had urged residents to stay home and limit their interactions with others, but almost 1.2 million people passed through US airports on Sunday, the most since the pandemic gripped the country in March. Others took to the highways to be with family and friends.
California has had nearly 1.2 million confirmed cases since the pandemic began, with 19,121 virus-related deaths.
The state reported 7,415 coronavirus hospitalizations on Sunday, citing the most recently available data from the previous day. More than 1,700 of those patients are in intensive care units.
The number of hospitalizations broke the state’s previous record of 7,170 in July. The figures are expected to rise in the coming days as similar trends happen nationally.
The number of new COVID-19 cases reported in the US topped 200,000 for the first time on Friday.
The highest previous daily count was 196,000 on November 20, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Since January, when the first infections were reported in the US, the nation’s total number of cases has surpassed 13 million. More than 267,000 people have died.
California has had nearly 1.2 million confirmed cases since the pandemic began, with 19,121 virus-related deaths
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti estimated that the county’s COVID-19 death toll could reach over 11,500 by the end of the year. The state’s deaths have been rising steadily
The state reported 7,415 coronavirus hospitalizations on Sunday, citing the most recently available data from the previous day. More than 1,700 of those patients are in intensive care units
The number of hospitalizations broke the state’s previous record of 7,170 in July. The figures are expected to rise in the coming days as similar trends happen nationally
‘The big unknown here is what actions were people taking over this long holiday weekend,’ Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.
If people engaged in high-risk activities, she said, ‘we’re in for a very rough time because we will have a surge on top of a surge’.
California county officials statewide issued new restrictions, with many taking effect Monday, in an effort to avoid overwhelming hospitals.
Los Angeles County, the nation’s most populous, imposed new rules calling for its 10 million residents to stay home ‘as much as possible,’ prohibiting them from gathering with people outside of their households for public or private occasions — except for faith-based services and protests.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has estimated that the county’s COVID-19 death toll could reach over 11,500 by the end of the year — meaning that more than 4,000 residents could die in over the next five weeks, the Los Angeles Times reported.
A record number of people in the county were infected last week.
In Northern California, Santa Clara County — home to Silicon Valley — banned all high school, collegiate and professional sports and imposed a quarantine for people traveling to the region from areas more than 150 miles away.
San Francisco and San Mateo counties moved to the most restrictive purple tier in the state’s pandemic blueprint for the economy, forcing most indoor activities to close by noon Sunday and placing the residents under curfew starting Monday night.
In San Francisco’s famous Golden Gate Park, the new 150-foot Ferris wheel named SkyStar closed Sunday under the new tier’s restrictions.
Gov Newsom threatened another stay-at-home order, which would seriously impact restaurants and bars (Eat at Joes diner in Redondo Beach, California)
Visitors to Old Pasadena dine outdoors along Colorado Boulevard on Sunday. Unlike Los Angeles County, Pasadena, with its own health department, is still allowing outdoor patio dining
The wheel was supposed to be the centerpiece of the park’s 150th anniversary being celebrated all year and was only approved to open in late October. No reopening date has been announced.
The outbreak in Santa Clara County ‘is like a high-speed train,’ health officer Dr Sara Cody said.
‘Our projections tell us that we are on target to derail by around the third week of December if we don’t apply the brakes right now with all our collective might,’ Cody said.
In other parts of the US, Americans returning home from Thanksgiving break faced strict new coronavirus measures.
In Hawaii, the mayor of Hawaii County said trans-Pacific travelers arriving without a negative COVID-19 test must quarantine for 14 days, and even those who have tested virus-free may be randomly selected for another test upon arrival.
New Jersey is suspending all youth sports.
Health officials are urging people to remain vigilant until a vaccine becomes widely available, which is not expected to happen for at least a few months.
On Monday, Moderna Inc said it will ask US and European regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine as new study results confirm the shots offer strong protection.
Pfizer is also seeking approval for its vaccine and hopes to begin administering shots in the US in December.
West Virginia Gov Jim Justice said hospitals across the state will reduce elective surgeries to ensure there is room for coronavirus patients.
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 jumped 29 per cent in the past week.
There are more than 13 million cases in the US with at least 267,600 deaths
Rhode Island’s hospitals reached their COVID-19 capacity on Monday, the same day the state’s two-week pause took effect. Under restrictions announced by Gov Gina Raimondo, some businesses will be required to shut down, while others are restricted.
Residents are also asked to limit their social circles to people in their household.
‘This will not be easy, but I am pleading with you to take it seriously,’ Raimondo said in a statement.
In suburban St Louis, a hospital official warned that hospitalizations could double in two to three weeks if people don’t quarantine after Thanksgiving gatherings.
SSM Health DePaul Hospital in Bridgeton, Missouri, last week brought in a morgue trailer to store the dead, canceled elective surgeries and doubled up patients in rooms.
‘We will be absolutely overwhelmed,’ said Shelly Cordum, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer. ‘I can’t even imagine what we are going to be facing in three weeks if we stay on this path.’
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s foremost infectious-disease expert, warned on ABC over the weekend that the country could see a ‘surge upon surge’ of infections tied to Thanksgiving.
White House cornonavirus task force coordinator Dr Deborah Birx also warned on CBS that people who traveled should ‘assume that you were exposed and you became infected,’ and get tested if they experience symptoms.