L.A. County Covid-19 Update: Officials Slam “Irresponsible” Kirk Cameron’s Maskless Gathering; Deaths & Hospitalizations Hit Another Record
With fools like Kirk Cameron violating safety protocols, vacation joy was in short supply today as coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations broke new tragic records in Los Angeles County, according to regional health officials.
LA County director of public health Barbara Ferrer said 145 deaths were reported today. Those horrific data brings the number of deaths from Covid-19 in LA County to 9,016. In addition to the dire situation in Southern California, there have been 16,575 confirmed cases of the virus. That is a near-record, bringing the total number of cases in LA County to 647,542.
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In this context, Dr. Ferrer bluntly added that "we will see 10,000 deaths for Covid-19 as our hospitals are overwhelmed". The chief health officer added that hospital stays will increase over the "next two weeks" to "wreak havoc on LA County".
The impact will be all the greater as more and more people in and around the county ignore the current home stay policy. Many of them do not wear recommended masks outdoors, gather for Christmas or for shopping, and even travel on vacation.
In one high profile case of such actions, former Growing Pains star Kirk Cameron hosted his third Christmas carol in as many weeks yesterday, with exposed singers in close proximity in protest against protective methods. With around 100 participants, the gathering took place in the parking lot of Oaks Mall in Thousand Oaks, Ventura County, where there are cracks in Covid-19 cases every day.
"I'm speechless at this point," said a clearly frustrated Dr. Ferrer on Cameron's actions. "It's very irresponsible and very dangerous and unnecessary. We are in the middle of a pandemic."
"January could be disastrous ... stay home for the holidays," pleaded Dr. Christina Ghaly, Director of Healthcare.
This catastrophe becomes more and more evident in the last days of 2020.
Two days before Christmas, the district is affected by the consequences of the harvest festival. In the 70 emergency hospitals in the region, only 57 beds are available in the intensive care unit. The district's health authorities assume that around 6,155 patients live in the regional Covid-19 hospitals in the regional Covid-19 hospitals - and this number is expected to increase in the next few days.
"The wave that we are in was avoidable and the wave that is to come was avoidable," explained Dr. Ghaly also today and again asked the citizens of the county not to mingle or gather over Christmas.
"The worst is yet to come," she added passionately. “Covid-19 is absolutely widespread in LA County. We can all unknowingly be silent killers, ”explained Dr. Ghaly and predicted another tidal wave of the Christmas season in the next "two or three weeks".
With footage and reports of maskless crowds gathering almost everywhere in and around LA, Dr. Ferrer put it even more clearly: "We're in big trouble ... we're in really, really bad shape."
To make this even clearer, until yesterday, 96% of regional hospitals were unable to admit 911 and other emergency patients. Usually facilities account for a third of this statistic at this time of year. That 96% number is expected to rise over Christmas.
In good news yesterday, 38,850 frontline healthcare workers were vaccinated with the Pfizer dose. Although California's vaccine allocation has decreased due to federal government incompetence based on readings, LA County has approximately 131,625 doses "either received or on the go," according to today's briefing. Plus, 116,600 doses of the newly approved Moderna vaccine are now waiting in the county to be administered as shots.
Dr. Ferrer announced that there will be no more press conferences until December 28, although relevant data will be available in the next few days.
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