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California to become 1st state to top 2 million virus cases | COVID-19 updates for Northern California

Los Angeles County is leading the surge, accounting for a third of COVID-19 infections and nearly 40% of deaths.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California to become 1st state to top 2 million virus cases

California's Christmas Eve is being marked by a grim milestone as the state is poised to become the first to top 2 million confirmed cases of coronavirus. 

Johns Hopkins University is expected to report that the state reached the mark on Thursday, barely six weeks since hitting 1 million cases. 

California has seen its number of cases climb exponentially in recent weeks, overwhelming hospitals, and public officials are begging people to stay home and not mingle for Christmas to avoid yet another surge. Los Angeles County is leading the surge, accounting for a third of COVID-19 infections and nearly 40% of deaths.

65% of ICU patients in San Joaquin County COVID-19 positive

Officials said the San Joaquin County's intensive care units are operating at 131% of licensed bed capacity and that demand for intensive care services remains high. The county said all ICUs are operating at or above capacity with a reported 65% of patients being COVID-19 positive.

In the past 24, hours, hospitals reported 12 patient deaths due to COVID-19.

California sees near-record deaths, modest signs of hope

California had a near-record number of daily coronavirus deaths as pandemic cases strained hospitals and reduced normal intensive care space to a record low. Yet Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday that there are hints residents may be heeding medical officials’ increasingly desperate calls for caution during the holidays. 

The transmission rate has been slowing for nearly two weeks. The rate of positive cases reached a new high of 12.3% over a two-week period but was starting to trend down. Yet the state's worst surge is taking a horrendous toll that threatens to only worsen if people gather during the holidays.

Rocklin Unified School District not changing learning plans for 2021

Despite receiving emails, phone calls, and links to petitions, the Rocklin Unified School District [RUSD] does not plan to alter its learning plan in 2021. 

Earlier this month, the RUSD school board agreed upon plan that involves an AM/PM model, starting Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. Once the county hits the Orange Tier, the district would then transition to a full week schedule. The district will stay in the AM/PM model until April 6, 2021, even if the county doesn't hit the Orange Tier, then transition to a fulltime, full week schedule for the remainder of the school year.

In a press release, the school board said while it appreciates the community's input, "but given the extensive outreach and deliberation leading to the vote, a special meeting would not likely change the outcome."

ICU Capacity for Wednesday, Dec. 23 

As of Dec. 23, 2020, California has 1,964,076 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The total number of deaths due to COVID-19 is now at 23,284 with 361 in the last 24 hours.

The latest ICU capacity by regions are:

  • Greater Sacramento Region: 15.6% (down from 15.7%)
  • Northern California: 28.8% (up from 29.5%)
  • San Joaquin Valley: 0% (static)
  • Bay Area: 11.4% (down from 13.5%)
  • Southern California: 0% (static)

Vaccinations underway at California Health Care Facility, Stockton 

Vaccinations against COVID-19 have begun at a California prison facility for inmates with special medical needs. The Los Angeles Times reports 65 inmates and employees of California Health Care Facility, Stockton, volunteered to receive the vaccine Tuesday. Union official Steve Crouch tells the newspaper the employees who received vaccinations are in high-risk positions dealing with potentially infected inmates. 

At least 150 of the facility’s 2,400 inmates are positive for COVID-19. Vaccination of employees and high-risk inmates is also expected to get underway at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla and the California Medical Facility, Vacaville.

California's health care system under strain

California’s health care system is buckling under the strain of the nation’s largest coronavirus outbreak and authorities say it may fracture in weeks if people ignore holiday social distancing. 

Top executives from the state’s largest hospital systems said Tuesday that increasingly exhausted staff are now attending to COVID-19 patients stacked up in hallways and conference rooms. California is closing in on 2 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. The state on Tuesday reported nearly 32,700 newly confirmed cases. Nearly 700 more patients were admitted to hospitals — one of the biggest one-day hospitalization jumps. 

Authorities blame the surge on people ignoring social distancing rules for Thanksgiving and they're begging people to be safe for Christmas.


Watch more:

Health care workers urging people to not gather for holidays as COVID-19 cases overwhelm hospitals

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