Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis pleaded Monday with residents to cancel holiday plans and stay home to help save lives as cases of coronavirus continue to spread rapidly and overwhelm hospital capacity throughout Southern California.
“Collective action is needed now to stop the dangerous assault COVID-19 is inflicting in our communities. This past week, the county of Los Angeles reported the highest number of new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths since the beginning of the pandemic,” Solis said. “In the First District of Los Angeles County, there have been over 154,723 positive cases of COVID-19 total — the most out of all five supervisorial districts.”
Solis pointed to “skyrocketing” numbers of cases in communities including East L.A., South Gate and South El Monte.
“As we near Christmas, I urge everyone to cancel their holiday plans to gather with members outside of one’s households. This will save many lives,” Solis said. “I recognize that the holidays will look different and it is frustrating, but modifying plans is critical for this pandemic not to extend more than it already has. Staying home with only your household will ensure more people can ring in the New Year from their homes and not a hospital bed.”
ICU adjusted capacity for the Southern California region remains at 0% and the increased number of coronavirus cases has resulted in long waits for emergency care in overcrowded hospitals. Capacity is based on available staffing, rather than physical beds, and doctors and nurses are overworked and exhausted as hospitals run out of ways to boost the number of workers.
Solis called on residents to step up on behalf of their neighbors, reminding everyone that it will likely be months before vaccines will be widely available to everyone.
“Although we are more physically distanced now than in years past, we need to come together as Angelenos to guard the health of our neighbors,” Solis said. ” Although the vaccine offers much hope, it will not save us from the current COVID-19 surge. Just as these healthcare workers are committing to our communities by getting vaccinated, we must commit to them and do what is in our control to stop this virus — that means staying home.”
In what may be one of her last opportunities to change behavior before the Christmas holiday, Solis repeated advice to wear a face covering, practice physical distancing, wash hands frequently and avoid all gatherings.
“There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but we must first get through the darkness together,” Solis said. “This is our moment — one in which our actions will dictate what is to come.”
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