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How close is California to bending the coronavirus curve?

In a nation devastated by a prolonged winter surge of coronavirus, California has emerged as the emblem of the devastation of the pandemic.

The state has had some of the worst results: mornings full, hospitals overwhelmed, oxygen shortages.

But that is slowly beginning to change – especially in Northern California.

Yet it is far from clear that the state is in full return. Officials hope that domestic measures and changes in behavior over time can bend the curve. The latest restrictions came into effect in late November, but holiday gatherings, shopping and travel are believed to have seen the new rise in coronavirus cases.

The post-Christmas wave is the biggest concern for public health officials, who are worried about what additional infections will do to hospitals already flooded with patients.

The hope is that by February there will be some relief as the number of cases begins to stabilize.

Here’s where we are in the coronavirus crisis and where we could be headed:

National prospects

Of the 50 states, 49 are either on the rise or recovering from one, Drs. George Rutherford, an epidemiologist and expert in infectious diseases at UC San Francisco. Hawaii is the only state that is not in or immediately out of a wave.

“Cases are everywhere,” Rutherford said, “with many in the southwest – in Arizona, southern California; a little in New Mexico and southern Nevada – but also in the middle of the south. ”

Arizona and Rhode Island have surpassed California in coronavirus cases with the worst rates in the country in the last 14 days. According to a Times analysis, Arizona surpassed California on January 2 with a lower coronavirus rate per capita. Inhabitant.

In recent weeks, hospitals in Phoenix began dismissing some ambulance patients from emergency rooms, according to the Republic of Arizona.

There are now also 16 states with poorer COVID-19 deaths per capita. Per capita the last 14 days than California. The deaths of Arizona and Kansas in the last two weeks are at least 50% higher than those of California.

Positive signs

There are some signs of improvement in California.

The number of coronavirus-positive patients hospitalized throughout the state has reached nearly 22,000, and new COVID-19 footage has also fallen – from about 3,500 a day last week to between 2,500 and 2,600, according to Dr. Mark Ghaly, California’s Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The increase in admissions to COVID-19 has slowed, and Ghaly said it was “a very encouraging sign, but we are not out of the woods.”

“We know there is still a lot of COVID in our society that people can easily transfer it.”

In other developments:

  • The state lifted up its home-order for Greater Sacramento. The move will allow counties to reopen limited capacity hair salons and barbershops and allow other businesses, including restaurants, to resume some outdoor activities.
  • Some parts of Northern California have seen infection rates slowly.

Negative signs

As Gavin Newsom’s government said Tuesday, “California is still in its most intense wave to date.”

The state released high counts in a single day Tuesday for both coronavirus cases and deaths, with both numbers well above the daily average.

One daily study conducted by The Times found 53,260 cases of coronavirus – the sixth highest number of days – and 678 deaths reported Tuesday. The death toll was the second highest of a single day in the pandemic, darkened only at the count on Friday, when 685 deaths were recorded.

Tuesday marked the first time that California recorded an average of more than 500 COVID-19 deaths per day over a weekly period. A Times analysis showed that the state now averages 520 deaths a day – roughly equivalent to a Californian dying every three minutes.

Southern California is still being slammed by coronavirus. The wave after Christmas has worsened, but it is still not clear how hard it will hit hospitals, which are already at critical levels.

Although the number of COVID-19 patients admitted across the country has stabilized recently, only 8,000, the sustained increase has forced some county hospitals to make beds in hallways and gift shops and let some patients wait in ambulances for as many as 17 hours before opening the space in the emergency room.

Any new rise in infections, officials warn, will trigger a resultant wave of new patients requiring professional care – creating a unsustainable load in already overtaxed hospitals and intensive care units.


  • Los Angeles County is fast approaching 1 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, a milestone that means 1 in 10 Angelenos has been infected at some point during the pandemic.
  • On Tuesday, 14,134 new coronavirus cases were registered in LA County. It pushed the county to an average of more than 15,000 new cases of coronavirus a day over the past week, one of the worst daily averages and a warning sign of a potential future increase in hospitalizations. Officials have predicted that an average of 15,000 cases a day would likely be a precursor to an even worse increase in admissions.
  • More than 2,300 people across the country have died from COVID-19 since New Year’s Day, and LA County has averaged about 231 deaths from the disease daily over the past week, a rate higher than at any time during the pandemic. On Tuesday, 318 deaths were reported in LA County, tying the highest single-day death toll count recorded Friday.

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