No timeline was given for when it might be lifted; that depends on whether the region can rebound from an intensive-care bed crisis.
"We absolutely have to get this surge under control, and it will take everyone's effort to do so", Ghaly said.
While Dr. Ghaly commended California hospitals for their handling of the surge of COVID cases by adapting their operations, he also acknowledged that many hospitals and staff are being stretched to provide the level of care expected for all Californians.
Several states, including California, Massachusetts, and DE, are now analyzing suspicious virus samples for the variant, said Dr. Greg Armstrong, who directs genetic sequencing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "They might think that because we work in this environment", Nicholas Ruiz, an office assistant at a hospital in Salinas told the Times. "You and your loved ones do not want to catch this virus because if you need a hospital bed, there may not be one available for you right away". Authorities in Elbert County were also investigating the possibility of a second case. If that happens, patients may be cared for in cots in lieu of beds, supplies and therapies may be rationed, and doctors will need to make hard decisions.
Ambulances are being forced to wait in bays before they can transfer patients inside hospitals - and in some cases, doctors are treating patients inside ambulances, she said.
On Monday, L.A. County reported 13,661 new cases and 73 new deaths, a slight increase from 13,580 new cases and 44 new deaths the previous day.
But medical decisions, said Kim McCoy Wade, director of the California Department of Aging, "can not be based on the following factors: age, race, disability, chronic medical conditions, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, national origin, language spoken, ability to pay, weight or size, socioeconomic status, insurance status, perceived self worth, perceived quality of life, immigration status, incarceration status, homelessness or past or future use of resources". That means care decisions can not be based on a myriad of issues such as race, gender, age, immigration status, chronic medical decisions or insurance status, among other things.
Ghaly urged people to stay at home for New Year's celebrations - the only way to minimize another surge expected to materialize again in the coming weeks.
Other counties, including Fresno County, have reported slim availability for ICU beds. "The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority, and we will closely monitor this case, as well as all COVID-19 indicators, very closely", Polis said.
Regionwide, Southern California has 0 percent ICU capacity, a number that doesn't mean every bed is filled. One county made progress this week: Humboldt County moved from purple to red.
The California Department of Public Health was notified by San Diego County Public Health Services of a patient with the variant COVID-19 virus strain.
Of those hospitalized, 20% are in the ICU.
"We are continuing to see unprecedented levels of COVID-19 infection across the United Kingdom, which is of extreme concern particularly as our hospitals are at their most vulnerable", said Susan Hopkins, a senior medical advisor to Public Health England.
Gavin Newsom on Wednesday encouraged schools to resume in-person education next year, starting with the youngest students, and promised $2 billion in state aid to promote coronavirus testing, increased ventilation of classrooms and personal protective equipment.
In the past seven days, there have been 57 community outbreaks confirmed in the county.
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