Seeds of the latest surge in coronavirus cases in California seem to have been planted around Memorial Day.
People were detained in their homes; the enterprises closed for months due to the fact that a home order began to operate. And how accelerated the discovery, many people were ready to go out,
A lighthouse of summer rituals followed – day trips to the beach, Shish kebab remembrance day, graduation ceremonies, Father’s days. Around the same time, historical protests began, triggered by outrage at the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis during police custody, which caused unprecedented demonstrations across the country, including the streets of California.
It will take several weeks of incubation. But now it’s clear that Memorial Day was the beginning of something. An analysis by the Los Angeles Times showed that the number of new hospitalizations for coronavirus in California began to accelerate around June 15 at a speed unseen since early April.
Statewide daily number of people in hospitals with confirmed infection, the coronavirus jumped by almost 50% compared to when it was stable in mid-April, The Times found. As of Saturday, 4498 people were hospitalized; in mid-April, the average daily value was about 3,100 people.
This may take two weeks for virus incubation in the body, and after another week or two, which will lead to hospitalization of seriously ill people. This means that more people may have been exposed to the virus during the week of Memorial Day or shortly after, said Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, a medical epidemiologist and expert on infectious diseases at the University of Los Angeles School of Public Health.
Health officials and experts have always known that simplifying home orders will lead to a higher incidence. But they also said they should make progress in the discovery.
By continuing to keep society closed for such an extreme state for too long, it leads to its own harmful consequences, be it an increase in the number of homeless people and deaths due to greater poverty or consequences denying schoolchildren their personal educationKim Farley said.
“Shelter in place is a luxury,” added Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco. “We need to think about how we open and minimize risk. We will live with this virus for a long time. ”
But there is no textbook to understand how to safely open California in the face of the worst pandemic in the world, faced with a previously unknown coronavirus.
The only way to find out how to open it is to do it gradually and dial the number back if the disease spreads so quickly that it can later reach hospitals. And this is what’s happening now, said Kim Farley.
“Now we understand that things are going up. So we are dialing again, ”said Kim Farley.
A Times analysis showed that as of Sunday, 5.9% of coronavirus test results from the past week were positive. This is a significant jump from the previous week, when it was 4.8%.
This figure is even worse in Los Angeles County: as of Sunday, the average daily coronavirus test, confirmed positive, was 8.7%. Two weeks ago it was 5.8%.
Throughout the state, public health officials expressed concern about the increasing incidence of cases and hospitalization. Sunday Governor Gavin Newsom ordered Los Angeles County and four districts in the San Joaquin Valley – Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare – close the bars. imperial and San Joaquin counties, which are not allowed to open bars, the state orders to keep them closed.
The state also recommended that the following counties issue bar closure orders: Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Stanislav, and Ventura. Government officials recommend that the two Bay Area counties, Contra Costa and Santa Clara, keep bars closed.
Government officials say that drinking alcohol in bars impairs judgment and leads to less use of protective coatings and social exclusion from other people. The spaces are also loud, often requiring people to speak in louder voices, which can lead to splashing of potentially infectious oral drops during a conversation.
On June 12, Newsom allowed counties to decide when to allow the opening of bars; District L.A. gave a green light June 19
As of Sunday, there were an increase in hospitalizations in 16 California counties that exceeded 10% in the past three days, according to California Coronavirus Tracker The TimesThey affect the most populous regions of the state: Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego County, and Central Valley.
“Despite the fact that we expected an increase in the number of cases as sectors open, we did not expect the increase to be so sharp that it is fast. Without immediate action to slow the spread, we run the risk of having too many people who need inpatient care and possibly overload our healthcare system. ” Barbara Ferrer, director of Los Angeles County public health, said Friday.
In a stern warning, Ferrer said on Sunday that non-compliance with a pandemic would put the public at risk. “Otherwise, we are quickly moving to suppress our healthcare system and see even more devastating diseases and death,” she said.
More than 5,900 people infected with coronavirus died in California, and more than 3,300 of them in LA County.
Officials and experts called on the public to wear masks. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who until the last year headed the US Food and Drug Administration as President Trump’s appointee, tweeted that the main measure to save lives, to allow schools to open in the fall and to keep a business operating safely is a “universal disguise.”
Gallup poll found that 84% of adults in the US said they wore a mask outside their home last week. But there are some people who loudly oppose the order to wear masks in California.
The Los Angeles-based taco network said it was forced to temporarily close two places on Sunday after intensified attacks by customers outraged by the “no mask, no service” policy.
Harassment, including racial epithets and drinks thrown at workers through order windows, emotionally affected most Latino employees, According to The Times, co-owner of Hugo Tacos Bill Kone.
District Officers L.A. warned of “the appearance of fake masked cards that depict a state seal with threatening information.” People who have health problems that prevent them from using the mask should wear a face mask instead, district officials say.
Kim Farley, a former senior L.A. County Health Officer and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said there are three main characters – private individuals, enterprises and governments of the districts – each of which must contribute to limiting the spread of the disease.
Not only government officials should analyze data for disturbing trends, but people should also wear face masks and keep themselves at a distance of six feet from other people, and business owners should prevent crowds in their establishments and regularly disinfect surfaces subject to strong touch.
Perhaps too many Californians have answered business reopening Kim Farley said that as a license to renew life, as they did before the pandemic. Californians never experienced the trauma that New Yorkers saw when their hospital system was overwhelmed by patients with COVID-19 in the spring.
“Perhaps they are no longer aware of disguise and physical distance,” said Kim Farley.
Another factor is that political disagreements in the US and California over the response to the pandemic, such as political fights over the use of face masks, worsen our ability to control the epidemic, experts say. Countries that have a unified social response to broad pandemic responses, such as New Zealand Experts say that Taiwan did not allow the virus to get out of control.
A pandemic could provoke a sense of unity around a common enemy in the United States. “Unfortunately, we made him such that he became very controversial and very politicized,” said Kim Farley.
“If everyone could be very responsible for the practice of camouflage and physical distance, we should be able to open up without, again, the leaps that we observe.”
Serious outbreaks in Southern California are now felt throughout the state.
San Francisco Bay Area Facing COVID-19’s Big Flash San Quentin State Prisonwhere the virus was imported after 121 prisoners were transferred from the California Institute of Men to Chino without checking for the virus. On Sunday, according to Marin County officials, 832 active cases of COVID-19 were reported in San Quentin.
More than 75 employees in the prison were infected, and some live in the Marin County, health officials said. San Francisco hospitals receive patients not only from San Quentin, but also from the Imperial District, which Newsom recommended on Friday. introduce a new home order,
In San Francisco, there has been a surge in the number of cases, and the seven-day average is now worse than at any previous moment of the pandemic.
“We talked about aligning this curve. This curve is not flat now. In fact, this curve is becoming more and more vertical, ”said Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of Health, San Francisco, on Friday.
“We hope that if everyone does his job to hide his face, social distance and take proper hygiene measures, this curve will begin to decline and smooth, and we will be able to move forward. But it will take time, ”said Colfax. ,
San Francisco stopped the planned opening of open bars, hairdressers and nail salons, tattoo parlors, museums, zoos and outdoor swimming, which was supposed to take place on Monday.
So far, the number of daily deaths across the state has not jumped. The maximum daily deaths for seven days was May 79; there were about 64 deaths a day on Friday.
This may be due to the fact that people who are now infected become more young adults who are less likely to suffer serious complications than older people, or it just takes more weeks before those who are in the hospital to die.
Newsom warned that he expects the death toll to increase during the day in the coming weeks.
Experts say new coronavirus infections have also reached their highest levels in the country since the start of the pandemic.
“The explosive growth of the COVID-19 epidemic in the southeast and southwest United States, with some exceptions. And in fact, we are seeing new growth to the highest levels we have ever seen in the United States, ”said Dr. George Rutherford, an epidemiologist and infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco.
According to Johns Hopkins University, there are 2.5 million cases of coronavirus and more than 125,000 deaths at the national level.
Rutherford identified four reasons for growth in California:
The increased transmission of this disease by the community that occurs when orders to stay at home are weakened and people do not follow orders for the mask;
Major institutional outbreaks, such as in prisons and nursing homes;
Strengthening testing, as well as focused intensive testing in heavily affected areas; and,
The return of Americans, many of whom are retired, from Mexico who seek medical help pandemic intensifies in this country,
Times Maura Dolan and Laura Newberry staffers contributed to this report.