On Sunday, Mayor Eric Garcetti said that the city of Los Angeles is “on the brink” of implementing a second stay-at-home order amid surging coronavirus numbers.
California became the state with the most confirmed coronavirus cases on Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Times, surpassing New York.
Los Angeles County has become the coronavirus epicenter, with more than 40% of all coronavirus positive cases in the state, reported KTLA. Governor Gavin Newsom stated that the 12,807 new cases in the past 24 hours was officially a record high, bringing the state’s total to 413,575.
Newsom added that the count is a “sober reminder of why we are taking things as seriously as we are.”
While the City of Los Angeles’ COVID-19 threat level remains at orange, we are very close to moving to red. Please stay home when you can, avoid gatherings, and only visit businesses when you have to. pic.twitter.com/73tV9yPuQw
— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) July 14, 2020
Garcetti echoed those sentiments and hinted at the fact that a shut down is on the horizon.
During a July 15 press conference, Garcetti said, “We’ve never had as many people infected, or infectious. We’ve never had as many recorded positive cases each day, and we’ve never had as many people in the hospital as there are tonight as I speak to you.”
Younger People Account for Over Half of New Cases
As the number of cases continues to surge, younger individuals are accounting for the majority of recent cases.
On Wednesday, ABC-7 reported that in Los Angeles County, over half of the new cases– 57%– are people age 41 and younger.
LA County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer attributed these statistics to the “cavalier” attitude people in this age bracket have towards the virus.
The outlet also highlighted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that the number of cases could be up to 24 times higher than what official numbers indicate.
Dr. Anthony Cardillo, ER specialist and CEO of Mend Urgent Care, told ABC-7, “We saw a lot of patients that were sick that we didn’t know were sick. March, April and May we had depressed testing capacity, we were all struggling to test patients, and it just tells us that there are a lot more people that are out there that are actually harboring this virus. And a lot of them are asymptomatic.”
He continued, “Do not host a party, do not attend a gathering, don’t treat this as a normal summer break. This virus is not taking the summer off, and we can’t afford to either. I know how tough this is on business owners, employees and the general public.”
‘We Opened up Too Early’
While California was the first state to impose a stay-at-home order on March 19, the recent surge in numbers has alarmed medical professionals across the state.
Catherine Davis, the nursing director at Eisenhower Health in Rancho Mirage, about 100 miles from Los Angeles, told KTLA, “Up until this (coronavirus outbreak), on my unit we would for the most part possibly lose one patient a year,” Davis said. “We have had 40 deaths on our unit. However, we’ve treated over 700 patients.”
Anne Rimoin, an epidemiology professor at the University of California Los Angeles, stated that Los Angeles opened up too soon. “We didn’t have the virus totally under control,” Rimoin told KTLA.
She added, “People are not following the rules. They’re not wearing masks. They’re not social distancing. They’re not doing what it is that they need to do.”
Rimoin concluded by saying that there seems to be no choice than to issue another stay-at-home order.
“I really see no other choice, but for California to shut down right now, to really shut down for a couple of weeks so that we can get this virus under control.”