More people were hospitalized from COVID-19 in California as of Saturday than at any point since the pandemic began, health officials said.
Just over 7,400 people were hospitalized with the virus across the state as of Saturday, the Los Angeles Times first reported Sunday, while health officials reportedly worry that a new surge of cases could be caused by Black Friday shopping and Thanksgiving gatherings.
“We were prepared for an increase,” said Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County’s health director, according to the Times. “None of us really thought the increase would be so big across such a short period of time.”
The state has seen a sharp increase in new confirmed cases in recent weeks, and has seen more than 1.2 million infections since the pandemic began. Just over 13,000 new cases are being recorded every day, according to a 7-day average compiled by The New York Times.
Nearly 20,000 deaths have been recorded across California from the disease. Ferrer said that figures from cases related to Thanksgiving and Black Friday would not appear for several weeks.
If those two days resulted in a new wave of cases, “we’re in for a very rough time, because we will have a surge on top of a surge,” she told the newspaper.