A new COVID-19 spike has spread to every corner of California

The autumn COVID-19 wave is now spreading not only in large urban areas such as Los Angeles, but also in California and even the northern rural countryside of the state, which is a worrying sign as the state faces the biggest challenge of the pandemic to date.

According to Times analysis, most California counties have reached the worst cases of coronavirus today in the entire COVID-19 epidemic, surpassing even the summer wave that forced officials to reverse the state’s first reopening in late spring.

According to the data, California will face new problems in December if the unprecedented rise in cases continues. In earlier stages of the pandemic, different parts of California could help accommodate patients from Imperial County in more severely affected areas, such as San Diego County and San Francisco. But it can be difficult in this wave, with the pandemic getting worse in most places across California.

“We can’t depend on the counties next to us because they are exposed to the same stress and stress,” said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, COVID-19 testing officer in Santa Clara County. “They can’t provide us with beds in their counties.” So we are alone. And our hospitals hurt at this point.

The Times analysis also shows whether the coronavirus has managed to break free from densely saturated environments in urban areas and farming communities in agricultural valleys, where the virus has infected basic workers, many of them Latinos, who had no choice but to leave work. .

Infections are now spreading faster in other communities. In Marin County, Dr. Matt Willis, a health officer, said the epidemic only affected predominantly Latin communities. Now, just last month, “the majority of cases are among our white residents,” Willis said.

“We find a higher proportion of cases among people who gather indoors and they may have a more reasonable opportunity to avoid these exposures as they are based on personal decisions,” Willis told the Supervisory Board. “The most unfavorable thing is that it drives – but it’s also encouraging because we think these are behaviors over which people can be better controlled, because it’s not a matter of economic necessity.”

Last week, the average number of coronavirus cases per day reached LA and other hot spots, such as San Bernardino and San Diego counties, according to The Times analysis, which has received a lot of attention in recent weeks as hospitals have begun to recharge and where , in some cases the number of daily deaths increased. The crisis has only worsened exponentially in recent weeks.

The Times analyzed that the average daily number of cases observed over the past week is also at record highs in many other counties, including Ventura, San Luis Obispo, Santa Clara, Sacramento, San Mateo, Solano and Santa Cruz. Whole counties in Northern California have also reached record highs in recent days, such as Napa County; Yolo County, home of UC Davis; The counties of Nevada, Placer, and El Dorado, which extend from the suburbs of the state capital to Lake Tahoe; and sparsely populated Mariposa County, where the Yosemite Valley is located.

In all, more than 23 million Californians, who live in 31 counties, are currently experiencing the worst wave of the pandemic, An Times analysis found.

In California, the seven-day average of daily coronavirus cases has more than quadrupled since mid-October, from less than 3,000 a day to almost 14,000 a day on Wednesday. In just two weeks, the average daily mortality doubled: an average of 74 COVID-19 deaths per day were reported in California by Wednesday, compared to a daily average of 38.

As of Thursday morning, there were more than 1.16 million confirmed coronavirus cases in California and nearly 19,000 deaths, according to The Times coronavirus tracker.

Officials rang alarm bells across the state, from the Mexican border, where Imperial county officials set up an overflowing medical tent with 50 beds to treat patient surges in Shasta County in the far north of the state, which meant hundreds of people were isolated and thousands quarantined.

“Don’t feel guilty about not wanting to get together in person,” the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency said. “Be clear: Say ‘no’ to anything that could increase the risk to you or the people who matter to you.”

In addition to Shasta County, other counties with a record high average daily incidence since 18 November include Calaveras, Del Norte, Glenn, Humboldt, Lassen, Mendocino, Plumas, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne and Yuba. Time analysis is available.

The rate of coronavirus spread in Los Angeles County is the highest since the first week of the pandemic. Officials estimate that, on average, every infected person transmits the virus to 1.27 other people.

– We didn’t see it [a transmission rate] so high in Los Angeles County since mid-March, at the very beginning of the epidemic – before any preventive or safety measures are introduced, ”said Dr. Christina Ghaly, director of Los Angeles County Health Services.

That’s a particularly distressing number, given LA County’s seven-day average of new daily coronavirus cases is about 4,300. The county is now moving at a rate where the number of new daily coronavirus cases will double in two weeks and quadruple in one month, Ghaly said.

Just last week, nearly 200 people were admitted to LA County hospitals every day; that’s nearly 300 hospital admissions a day today, Ghaly said Wednesday. If the disease transmission behavior doesn’t change dramatically soon, hospitals in LA County can see it anywhere from 375 new hospital admissions a day to 1,000 a day.

The capacity of hospitals may increase, but “the ability of hospitals to be able to spin up and open additional beds is not infinite,” Ghaly warned. There are only as many nurses and doctors who are trained in intensive care.

Even nursing homes see more cases. In a remarks Tuesday by the LA County Supervisory Board, Barbara Ferrer, director of public health, said the number of coronavirus cases has increased “among staff and residents of trained nursing homes, where many residents are medically fragile and have high rates of serious illness and death due to COVID-19. “

Last week, Ferrer said the county reported an additional 842 new cases of coronavirus among health workers on Monday.

“This is the most weekly case we’ve seen in a very, very long time. And that’s a worrying increase, as there have been a lot of new cases among healthcare workers recently, ”Ferrer said. “For all of us, the best way to express gratitude is to take immediate action to stop the virus from spreading.”

The number of epidemics is also deteriorating. Between Halloween and mid-November, LA County saw a 67% jump in jobs and tripled in food businesses, including restaurants, food processing facilities, grocery stores, bottling plants and other food-related businesses.

In several regions of the state, the number of cases is well above the level experienced since the summer months, an analysis by The Times found.

Over the past seven days, Southern California counties have reported an average of 40 cases of coronavirus per day per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period. This is almost 50% higher than the summer peak, which reached 28 days of coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants in July. Even worse in the northern rural third of the state, where the number of cases jumped to an average of 48 cases per 100,000 inhabitants per day, compared with an average of 12 cases per day in August.

In the Sacramento region and the Middle Coast, cases rose 57 and 22%, respectively, above their highest levels in mid-August. The San Francisco Bay Area in the nine counties reports an average of 18,000 cases per 100,000 residents per day, equivalent to the summer peak.

A region that includes the San Joaquin Valley, the eastern Sierra, and Yosemite is the only region with a lower incidence than the summer wave, which was extremely bad. These counties report an average of 37 cases of coronavirus per day per 100,000 inhabitants, well below the previous peak of 55. However, the proportion of cases in this section of downtown California continues to grow at a dramatic rate, similar to most other regions in the state.

Bay Area officials have warned that the soaring growth of the region will also jeopardize maximizing hospital capacity if things don’t change soon.

“Even in our own county hospitals, we load ICU beds,” warned Cindy Chavez, Santa Clara County Superintendent.

One of the busiest shopping days in the country is approaching before Christmas, with Silicon Valley officials saying there will be increased enforcement efforts to ensure crowds don’t build up, stores will adhere to capacity constraints and people will wear masks. Retailers can only open up to 25% of capacity in California, at the narrowest COVID-19 level where 95% of California people live.

“We don’t want a crowd. The congested situation facilitates the spread of COVID. Said James Williams, County Councilor for Santa Clara County.

While officials have previously issued warnings, the overstaffed staff of inspectors, including firefighters, will begin issuing citations that will result in fines.

To help enforce these pandemic restrictions, we can “save lives,” said Tony Bowden, chief of the Santa Clara County Fire Department.

Health officials have expressed serious concern that many are ignoring federal, state, and local health recommendations to cancel Thanksgiving travel plans. Authorities fear the significant travel will further exacerbate the spread of the coronavirus, as it did in China during the Lunar New Year, which spread the infectious virus to the rest of the world.

“We hear really worrying figures about people traveling.” And that’s not good, ”said Fenstersheib, the COVID-19 testing officer in Santa Clara County. As vaccinations were likely to be available in just a few months, he urged the public to hold meetings for only a few months.

Times fellow Ryan Menezes contributed to this report.