California surpassed its previous record of COVID-19-related hospitalizations, totaling 7,415 on Saturday.
The increase in hospitalizations is more worrisome than the recent increase in cases. Hospitalizations reflect that more people are experiencing severe COVID-19 symptoms— reinforcing that the virus is far more serious than the typical flu. As of November 28, the state has seen nearly 1.2 million cases and over 19,000 fatalities. Most confirmed cases are from people between the ages of 18 and 49.
“The frustration this pandemic is causing is real and understandable,” Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said.
Los Angeles continues to be most affected by COVID-19
The hospitalization record comes as L.A. County is set to impose a new stay-at-home order, beginning today. Though not as strict as the closure early on in the pandemic, the order asks residents to stay home as much as possible, reduce mingling with others outside the home and wear a face covering when engaging in activities outside the home.
“If we really care about each other, and we care about those essential workers taking risks every day to make sure we have food, water, healthcare, and needed services, we need to not gather with anyone not in our immediate household,” Ferrer explained. “With such a high amount of transmission in our community, gathering with individuals from outside your household, even outdoors, is not safe and puts everyone at risk because of the extended contact with others.”
The order will run through December 20, just one day short of the statewide-imposed curfew.
The rise of #COVID19 cases in CA could put millions of lives in danger & impact our health care system.
— CHHS Agency (@CHHSAgency) November 30, 2020
A statewide problem
As explained by the Los Angeles Times, the death rate is also rising in across California: “An average of 75 deaths were reported daily over the seven-day period before Thanksgiving, compared with 40 in mid-November.”
“Sacrifice now could save lives and illness and make the future much brighter as we get through this,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said ahead of Thanksgiving on ABC News. “We’re gonna get through this. Vaccines are right on the horizon. If we can just hang in there for a bit longer…What we don’t want to see is yet another surge superimposed on the surge [happening now].”
Governor Gavin Newsom will provide an update on California’s response to the pandemic today at noon. The update will be streamed on various social platforms.
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) November 30, 2020