The terrible reality of where things are in SoCal arriving on holidays: LAist

Travelers wait in line this week at Tom Bradley International Terminal in LAX. (Mario Tama / Getty Images)

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Monica Bushman, Lita Martinez, Megan Nguyen and Jackie Fortiér contributed to this story

California is approaching a dark milestone: 2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases.

And the average rate of positivity in 14 days in the state is now 12.3%. It is the tallest that has ever existed.

In an update on Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom warned that, unless Californians start to exercise more caution, we may see:

“A wave after a wave, where we are today, adding up again, another wave in the middle and end of January and February, because of Kwanzaa, because of Christmas, and because of the New Year”.

Newsom also said that starting Thursday – Christmas Eve – Virgin Atlantic, Delta and their partners will begin demanding negative COVID-19 tests for people on all direct flights from London Heathrow Airport to airports on the west coast. This is due to a new and more contagious strain of the virus that appeared in England.


note: Trends in California and local county charts are current through Tuesday.

We are checking counties around southern California to get an idea of ​​the state of the pandemic in their communities.

How serious is the situation? A coalition in SoCal met on Wednesday night to issue a joint letter:


Los Angeles County has broken yet another worrying record for COVID-19. Health officials Wednesday reported 145 additional deaths. This is now the highest death toll in a county day; the previous record was set last week.

On Tuesday, the county exceeded 9,000 deaths in total COVID-19. The county also confirmed more than 16,500 new coronavirus cases, with more than 6,100 COVID-positive patients who now need hospital care.

County public health director Barbara Ferrer says the COVID patient attack is overwhelming local hospitals – and if residents do not heed warnings to abstain from travel or vacation dates, those numbers will get even worse in the new Year.

“If what happens during the winter break is the same as what happened, or even half of what happened on Thanksgiving, we are in serious trouble,” said Ferrer.

She also said that there are currently less than three dozen adult ICU beds available for patients with COVID throughout LA County. But there is little progress, involving LA County’s “R rate” – how many people a person infected with the virus will infect. At the moment, it is 1.1. This is still not good, but it is a little better than last week’s 1.2.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • In the past week, Los Angeles County health officials have reported an average of 15,459 new cases of coronavirus daily.
  • O average daily deaths COVID’s ranking was 94 in LA County and 281 in the state.
  • An impressive 6,155 people are currently hospitalized with COVID and 20% of them are in the ICUs spread across the county’s 80 acute care hospitals.

New cases last week it reached 108,200 and is threatening to bring the entire health care system in Los Angeles County to the breaking point.


The teams are building a 50-bed mobile field hospital at UC Irvine Medical Center to cope with the record increase in patients with COVID-19.

It is one of three tent-like facilities being erected in hospitals in Orange County.

Of the nearly 1,900 people hospitalized in the municipality on Wednesday, 394 are in the ICU.

Dr. Shruti Gohil, an infectious disease specialist at UCI Medical Center, said this week that they have had more than 100 COVID-19 patients every day in the past few weeks.

“Day after day after day, those numbers are not improving,” said Gohil. “So if I could impress someone to, you know, make your Christmas and New Year’s day as limited as possible in terms of the interactions you have.”

Orange County reported more than 4,400 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday and 2 deaths. The county reported its highest daily case count – 4,606 – last Sunday.


San Bernardino County reported 2,578 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 20 deaths. The municipality now leads the state in new infections per 100,000 residents in the past 7 days, averaging 1,816 cases.

Currently, 8 of the 17 main hospitals in the municipality have 0% of the ICU capacity.

“Our real concern is that this has been going on for so long that many of our employees are simply no longer following the rules and no longer listening,” Corwin Porter, San Bernardino’s Director of Public Health, told us. “And that is what is really bothering us … we are doing our best to test and contact screening and vaccinate now. But there are so many people who are still spreading the virus, without taking the necessary care.”

Porter says the transmission of the virus has spread so far that almost every part of San Bernardino County is a hot spot right now.


COVID-19 hospitalizations in Ventura County reached 300 for the first time last weekend. As of Wednesday, there were 327 patients hospitalized with coronavirus. The ICU’s capacity has dropped to 0% and the county’s infection rate is increasing.

Ventura County Public Health Officer Dr. Robert Levin says this is what makes big meetings as worrying as the one that actor Kirk Cameron organized in front of the Oaks Mall on Tuesday night in Thousand Oaks.

Video footage of the Christmas singers protesting the regional order to stay at home showed very few people wearing masks or social detachment.

“Some of these people at these meetings often criticize us – county government and public health – for closing deals,” said Levin. “Business is closed as a direct result of its activities.”

Ventura County reported 751 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday and 8 deaths.