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California coronavirus hospitalisations hit highest point in months

California coronavirus
hospitalisations hit highest point in months

dpa
Los Angeles
A spate of new coronavirus infections is striking California’s health care system, pushing Covid-19 hospitalisations to levels not seen since early spring - lending new urgency to efforts to tamp down transmission as a growing number of counties urge residents to wear masks indoors.
Statewide, the number of coronavirus patients in the hospital more than doubled in the last month, and the numbers have accelerated further in the last two weeks.
Even with the recent increase, though, the state’s health care system is nowhere near as swamped as it was during the fall-and-winter surge. And many health experts are confident that California will never see numbers on that scale again, given how many residents are vaccinated.
But with the continued spread of the highly infectious delta variant, which officials fear could mushroom in communities with lower inoculation rates, the next few weeks are key in determining how potent the pandemic’s latest punch may be.
The recent increases confirm that nearly everyone falling seriously ill from Covid-19 at this point is unvaccinated.
“This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. And so, if you care about getting back to normalcy once and for all, please get vaccinated,” Gov. Gavin Newsom told reporters Tuesday.
The fact that about 52 percent of all Californians are already fully vaccinated sets a ceiling on how many people remain exposed to potential infection.
Still, LA County Health Services Director Dr Christina Ghaly said on Tuesday that “the individual consequences of a choice not to get vaccinated can be dire for that person and his or her family and friends.”
Ghaly said seeing a continued stream of Covid-19 patients, the vast majority of whom are unvaccinated, triggers a range of emotions in health care workers who have long been on the front lines of the pandemic: frustration, sadness and “some level of disbelief that, after all of the pain and suffering that we’ve all seen . there’s still people who either don’t believe it or don’t believe that it can affect them.”
The highest-risk Californians - notably the elderly - have been vaccinated at high rates. But the numbers drop off for younger segments of the population, and children under the age of 12 still aren’t eligible to be vaccinated.
“I think sometimes the mentality is that people think, ‘Well, I’m not going to get that sick. I’m going to be OK. I’m not going to die from Covid-19; I’m young; I’m healthy,’ “ Ghaly said. “And I can tell you, hopefully that’s the case, but that’s not necessarily the case.” From June 22 to July 6, the daily number of Covid-19 patients hospitalized in California increased from 978 to 1,228, a nearly 26 per cent bump, state data show.
Over the last two weeks, the daily count swelled by an additional 76 per cent, reaching 2,164 as of Monday.
California’s intensive care units also are filling up. As of Monday, 552 coronavirus-positive individuals were in ICUs statewide, more than double the total a month ago.

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