LOS ANGELES -- California's deadly Christmas is being marked by pleas to avoid holiday gatherings outside the home and indoor church services as the rates of coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations soar.
Public officials are issuing pleas for social distancing in what could be a make-or-break effort to curb a COVID-19 surge that has filled some hospitals beyond normal capacity.
The state has recorded more than 2 million COVID-19 cases and on Thursday set a new record for hospitalizations.
Gov. Gavin Newsom says hospitals are facing “unprecedented pressure” and if current trends continue the number of those hospitalized due to the virus could double in 30 days.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.