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California’s huge rise in COVID cases are keeping the US average at a plateau

California‘s COVID-19 cases are now so high that they are keeping the United States average at a plateau despite a fall in cases in the Midwest bringing the rest of the country down, data shows.  

The state’s health care system is in the throes of a coronavirus crisis stemming from ill-advised Thanksgiving gatherings, top executives from the state’s largest hospital systems said Tuesday. They put out a ‘desperate call’ for residents to avoid a Christmas repeat, which they said would overwhelm the state’s medical system. 

Across the US as a whole there were 3,131 more COVID deaths and 189,000 cases recorded Tuesday with a record 117,777 people in hospital.  The seven day rolling death toll is at a record high of 2,654. 

Up to 100 maskless carol singers gather outside a testing center in Thousand Oaks, California Tuesday even as cases threatened to overwhelm an already strained hospital system. 

The Oaks Mall event was the second like it hosted by Growing Pains actor turned evangelist Kirk Cameron. He said on social media: ‘Let your voice be heard at this peaceful protest praising the Prince of Peace.’

Mall officials told ABC7: ‘The event occurring at The Oaks at this moment is a non-sanctioned event.’

‘We continue to share our community’s concerns over these irresponsible – yet constitutionally protected – events and have law enforcement on property. We reached out to the organizer to ask that the event be moved.’

Up to 100 maskless carol singers gather outside a testing center in Thousand Oaks, California Tuesday even as cases threatened to overwhelm an already strained hospital system

California's COVID-19 cases are now so high that they are keeping the United States average at a plateau despite the Midwest bringing the rest of the country down, data shows

California’s COVID-19 cases are now so high that they are keeping the United States average at a plateau despite the Midwest bringing the rest of the country down, data shows

Hospitalizations are also rapidly rising in Texas, Florida, and Georgia, The Covid Tracking Project reports. California reported 32,659 newly confirmed cases Tuesday and another 653 patients were admitted to hospitals, one of the biggest one-day hospitalization jumps. A state data models predict nearly 106,000 hospitalizations in a month if nothing changes. The current level is 17,843

Hospitalizations are also rapidly rising in Texas, Florida, and Georgia, The Covid Tracking Project reports. California reported 32,659 newly confirmed cases Tuesday and another 653 patients were admitted to hospitals, one of the biggest one-day hospitalization jumps. A state data models predict nearly 106,000 hospitalizations in a month if nothing changes. The current level is 17,843

Across the US as a whole there were 3,131 more COVID deaths and 189,000 cases recorded Tuesday with a record 117,777 people in hospital. The seven day rolling death toll is at a record high of 2,654

Across the US as a whole there were 3,131 more COVID deaths and 189,000 cases recorded Tuesday with a record 117,777 people in hospital. The seven day rolling death toll is at a record high of 2,654

Hospitalizations are also rapidly rising in Texas, Florida, and Georgia, The Covid Tracking Project reports. 

California reported 32,659 newly confirmed cases Tuesday and another 653 patients were admitted to hospitals, one of the biggest one-day hospitalization jumps. A state data models predict nearly 106,000 hospitalizations in a month if nothing changes. The current level is 17,843. 

The CEO of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital in Los Angeles, Dr. Elaine Batchlor, said patients there have spilled over into the gift shop and five tents outside the emergency department.  

‘We simply will not be able to keep up if the COVID surge continues to increase,’ Kaiser Permanente chairman and CEO Greg Adams said. ‘We’re at or near capacity everywhere.’ 

A mobile field hospital is set up at UCI Medical Center, Monday 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

A mobile field hospital is set up at UCI Medical Center, Monday 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

People wait in a long line for a free COVID-19 test at a pop-up site in Van Nuys, Calif. Los Angeles County on Tuesday

People wait in a long line for a free COVID-19 test at a pop-up site in Van Nuys, Calif. Los Angeles County on Tuesday 

The officials blamed Thanksgiving transmissions they fear will be repeated if people gather for Christmas and New Year’s and don’t take precautions like wearing masks, socially distancing, staying home as much as possible and not socializing with others.

‘We are really making a clarion and desperate call to Californians to not repeat what happened at Thanksgiving,’ said Dr. Stephen Parodi, The Permanente Medical Group’s associate executive director. ‘Our hospital systems cannot afford to see another increase like we saw with Thanksgiving.’

California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly reiterated that the state’s modeling shows some hospitals and regions of the state will be overwhelmed in coming weeks if the current surge continues. But he said that’s not a given.

‘Let’s make some choices over the next 10 days that we will never regret, because our families, our loved ones, our communities will be more intact because of it,’ he said.

California imposed a new regional stay-at-home order in early December that is based on ICU capacity and shuttered or restricted capacity levels for a huge swath of businesses. The state’s overall capacity or regular ICU beds had fallen to 1.4% Tuesday and for another day it was at 0% for all of Southern California and the 12-county San Joaquin Valley to the north. Many hospitals are now using emergency ‘surge capacity.’

‘We don’t have space for anybody. We’ve been holding patients for days because we can’t get them transferred, can’t get beds for them,’ said Dr. Alexis Lenz, an emergency room physician at El Centro Regional Medical Center in Imperial County, in the southeast corner of the state. 

The facility has erected a 50-bed tent in its parking lot and was converting three operating rooms to virus care.

Imperial County now is seeing 20% of people tested come back positive, compared with the state average of about 13%.

Officials in hard-hit Fresno County in the San Joaquin Valley meanwhile said temperature trackers on their 14,800 Moderna vaccine doses show that some will need replacing, though the vaccine doesn’t need the same ultra-cold care as the Pfizer vaccine.

The Oaks Mall event was the second like it hosted by Growing Pains actor turned evangelist Kirk Cameron, pictured. He said on social media: 'Let your voice be heard at this peaceful protest praising the Prince of Peace.'

The Oaks Mall event was the second like it hosted by Growing Pains actor turned evangelist Kirk Cameron, pictured. He said on social media: ‘Let your voice be heard at this peaceful protest praising the Prince of Peace.’

Mall officials told ABC7 : 'The event occurring at The Oaks at this moment is a non-sanctioned event'

Mall officials told ABC7 : ‘The event occurring at The Oaks at this moment is a non-sanctioned event’

'We continue to share our community's concerns over these irresponsible - yet constitutionally protected - events and have law enforcement on property. We reached out to the organizer to ask that the event be moved,' the mall added

‘We continue to share our community’s concerns over these irresponsible – yet constitutionally protected – events and have law enforcement on property. We reached out to the organizer to ask that the event be moved,’ the mall added 

Vaccine shipments aren’t used if there are ‘temperature irregularities’ as occurred Monday with a shipment to Fresno, said California Department of Public Health spokeswoman Ali Bay. A replacement shipment should arrive Wednesday, she said.

‘Temperature irregularities are rare, but they do occur,’ she said in an email. ‘The federal government, manufacturers, distributors, the state, and local government have all planned for this possible scenario and have a system in place to ensure it is immediately addressed.’

Dr. Thomas Utecht, chief medical officer for Community Medical Centers in Fresno, related how medical staff daily see sobbing families, desperate patients and people dying in isolation wards with their loved ones watching remotely.

‘Every heart wrenching hour we try to save another patient with everything we have. Sometimes it’s enough. And sometimes it’s not,’ he wrote in a direct appeal to the state’s residents. ‘It’s up to you, you are the frontline now,. We can only do so much without your help.’




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