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California Struggles With Virus After Holidays

Travis Wise
Flickr / Creative Commons
COVID Signage


LA Mayor Eric Garcetti said on the CBS program “Face the Nation”, yesterday, that the nation's most populous county is recording a new COVID-19 case every six seconds.

He said he's concerned news of a vaccine rollout has raised hopes and caused people to relax their behavior.

Overall, Garcetti said LA County is seeing high compliance of mask-wearing and people abiding by stay-home orders. But the state is reporting enormous numbers of new cases, including more than 12,400 in LA County yesterday — the county health office says it’s the fastest acceleration of new cases since the pandemic began.

The state Department of Public Health, yesterday, reported another 181 deaths and more than than 45,000 new confirmed COVID-19 cases across California. That brings the case total to nearly 2.4 million. For some perspective that means about 1 out of every 15 Californians has tested positive for the virus.

Hospitals stretched to their limits will get help from California’s Fire and Rescue Mutual Aid System, which is most often used in response to wildfires, floods and other natural disasters. Paramedics and emergency medical technicians are being deployed for two week stints to assist emergency rooms and other hospital departments struggling with thin staffing.

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, a coronavirus outbreak at the Kaiser Permanente San Jose Emergency Department has affected 44 staff members over the past week, according to hospital officials. A spokesperson said investigators are trying to determine if the sudden spread was caused by an employee who wore an inflatable Christmas costume in the emergency department on December 25th.

Ben was hired as Interim Executive Director of KALW in November, 2021.