Home News+Pop Culture California recoils as COVID-19 surges

California recoils as COVID-19 surges

This map shows confirmed cases of COVID-19, coded by percentage of population confirmed to be infected in the 14 days leading up to 16 November 2020. The data is used from the data as aggregated and released by Johns Hopkins University and the U.S. census.

Yesterday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced 94.1 percent of the state’s population is now in the most restrictive tier, indicating COVID-19 is widespread across most of the state and many non-essential businesses are closed. 

“We’re sounding the alarm,” Newsom said. “California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet— faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic or even this summer. The spread of COVID-19, if left unchecked, could quickly overwhelm our healthcare system and lead to catastrophic outcomes.” 

Reevaluated measures

The California Department of Public Health also updated its guidance for use of face covering. It says people must wear face coverings whenever outside of the homes, aside for specific exemptions like if you are eating or in your car alone. It also listed individuals who are exempt from wearing face coverings at all times, such as babies under two years old. 

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti echoed the governor’s sentiment. “The alarm bells are ringing,” he said in a COVID-19 update.

Over the weekend, Los Angeles County topped 3,000 cases two days in a row, according to KTLA. It is seeing an increase in COVID-19-related hospitalizations, but the entire county has just 557 beds available, Garcetti noted. Over 7,000 people have died in the county since the pandemic began. 

An emphasis on individual precautions

The onset of restrictions comes not long after the announcement of “striking” results in vaccine trials by Moderna and Pfizer. Each company’s vaccine proved to be over 90 percent effective. However, it will be months before widespread availability is possible. 

“Now is the time to do all we can— government at all levels and Californians across the state— to flatten the curve again as we have done before,” Newsom said. 

As we head into the winter holiday season, officials recommend celebrating with only the people in your household and getting a flu shot

Personal decisions are critical, and I am imploring every Californian to stay home if they can, wear a mask whenever they leave their homes, limit mixing, practice physical distancing and wash hands,” California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Gjaly said. 

Haley Bosselman
Haley Bosselman is the editor-in-chief of Culturas. She grew up in Orange County and moved to Los Angeles after earning her bachelor's degree in journalism from Arizona State University. In May 2020, Haley completed the Master of Science in journalism program at the University of Southern California. She's written a lot about music, but is geared toward any culture-related storytelling.
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