CA sees record hospitalizations ahead of expected Thanksgiving surge

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California set an ominous new record this weekend as the state recorded more people in its hospitals with COVID-19 than at any other time during this pandemic.

The California Department of Public Health says there were 7,415 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state’s hospitals Saturday; several hundred more than the previous record of 7,170 from July.

Nearly 2,200 of those cases are in Los Angeles County, which is seeing an average of 30 people dying each day.

"It started back after the Labor Day holiday and then really began accelerating in November," said Dr. Anne Rimoin, epidemiologist at the UCLA School of Public Health. "The only way to drive these numbers down is to increase restrictions."

More restrictions did go into effect over the weekend when six counties, including San Francisco and San Mateo, were added to the state’s most restrictive purple tier.

But doctors are expected cases to continue to rise as we see the impact of Thanksgiving gatherings.

"All of the illnesses and deaths could be prevented if everybody does the right thing - wears masks, social distance, avoids gathering - all of these things that we know will make a difference and can truly save lives," said Dr. Rimoin.

In all, 51 of California’s 58 counties, which encompass 99% of the state’s population, are now under the overnight stay at home order.