Los Angeles County, already in the throes of a devastating surge in coronavirus cases after Thanksgiving travel and gatherings, is being hit with a spike from Christmas festivities.
The weekly average of new cases per day in the county, the largest in the United States, is at its highest yet, 16,193.
That is about 12 times the weekly average of Nov. 1, which was 1,347.
Even as the deluge of coronavirus cases has overwhelmed hospitals around the state and Los Angeles County in particular, some Angelenos sought to celebrate the new year at clandestine parties. Police dispersed more than a thousand people who had attended a warehouse party, The Los Angeles Times reported.
More than 21,000 people were in the hospital on New Year’s Day in California, according to a New York Times database, a 26 percent increase from two weeks earlier.
For weeks, many intensive care units in the Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley regions have been at or near capacity. At one Los Angeles hospital late last month, incoming patients waited in a tent outside — the lobby was being used to treat patients, and gurneys were placed in the gift shop.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Monday that the state of the virus in California had made it “self-evident” that stay-at-home orders for the state’s southern and central regions, which were set to expire, would remain in place.
“Things, unfortunately, will get worse before they get better,” he said, adding that care for non-Covid patients in emergency rooms was being slowed as intensive care units struggle to manage the onslaught brought by the wave of coronavirus cases.