(The Center Square) – California has now surpassed 25 million coronavirus cases, including adding 1 million in less than a month.
The numbers show that 1 in every 16 residents has caught the virus since the pandemic began. Since mid-March the state has reported, 2,534,673 confirmed cases, including 37,659 on Wednesday, and 28,079 deaths, including 560 on Wednesday. Some 459,564 people have received the vaccine, about 1.5 percent of adults.
Los Angeles County, hardest hit in the state, surpassed 11,000 coronavirus deaths Tuesday. Over the past seven days, the county has averaged 183 deaths per day, or one every eight minutes, and 13,500 new cases. The county’s cumulative number of cases is more than 841,000.
L.A. County has seen it’s positivity rate skyrocket from 4 percent on Nov. 1 to 22 percent on New Year’s Eve.
“We’re experiencing the unfortunate, but expected, surge in cases from over the holidays,” L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told media. “And this will only lead to more severe consequences for our health care system.”
Also in Los Angeles, one in three school children are testing positive in some neighborhoods, making it unlikely that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s push to start reopening school as soon as month will succeed.
Newsom said last week he wanted to increase school funding by $2 billion in hopes of reopening, starting first with schools that serve younger students, those in foster care and those who are homeless, then moving on to schools with older students.
Newsom is also proposing extending the state’s eviction moratorium, which is set to expire at the end of January, and provide a $600 state stimulus check to low-income residents.
“Californians who have been impacted by this pandemic will get help to provide for their families and keep a roof over their heads,” he said of the budget he plans to release Friday.
The Southern California Area and the San Joaquin Valley Area have been at 0 percent capacity for intensive care united beds for more than two weeks. The total number of coronavirus patients hospitalized is some 20,000, with about a quarter of them in ICU.
Methodist Hospital of Southern California released a statement saying it has convened a triage team that will “make the difficult, but necessary decisions about allocating to critically ill patients based on the best medical information available.”
As of Wednesday, the hospital had not yet found the need to ration care.
Fresno County health officials say they are scrambling to find oxygen machines that could be sent home with patients in order to free up more bed space.