California surpasses 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases

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California hit a coronavirus milestone this afternoon: 1 million confirmed cases.

The state is dealing with a surge right now that one infectious disease specialist says will only get worse.

The state is second after Texas.

In LA County, there are more than 322,000 cases and more than 7,000 deaths from the virus. LA County is still in the purple tier.

Gov. Gavin Newsom mandated a mask policy as early as March and in August also unveiled a new tier system for reopening guidelines in the state.

Just this week, 11 counties had to slide back to the most restrictive purple tier including San Diego and Sacramento counties.

According to an Associated Press story, “Texas, the second-most populous state, has recorded 1.01 million coronavirus cases and over 19,000 deaths since the outbreak began in early March, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Infectious disease Dr. John Swartzberg with UC Berkeley tells KNX 1070 the Winter looks to be gloomy with a lot more cases and deaths.

Dr. Swartzberg says more people traveling over the holidays will spread the virus.

He says people can do their part to avoid the spread by wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings which he says include Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Swartzberg says multiple vaccines early next year will be a major help

A local ER doctor says if people don’t heed the warning, local hospitals could be in trouble.

Pointing to the potential of people from different areas coming together for Thanksgiving, Dr. Angelique Campen, an ER physician at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center and UCLA says “it is possible we could have such a significant infection rate that we could stress and even overwhelm our hospital system.”

As of right now, she says they are well prepared. She’s also been keeping an eye on the 7-day positivity rate.

“Just now we are seeing it climb and I think that is a true indicator of what is going on,” she says.

Dr. Campen says the key here is for everyone to do their part to not spread the virus.

A group of public health and crisis experts has been tracking each state’s progress and has listed California among 47 states with “uncontrolled spread” – meaning more than 150 new cases per million people per day.