Rose Parade Canceled Amid Virus Spikes 07/16 06:16
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- School districts barred campus reopenings, the Rose
Parade was canceled and San Francisco doubled down on business restrictions as
California hit a near-record level of confirmed coronavirus cases amid a
Hospitalizations and rates of positive COVID-19 tests also rose on Tuesday
and health officers voiced concern that intensive care units could be
overwhelmed in some places unless the infection rate is reduced.
The situation is in "an alarming and dangerous phase" in the Los Angeles
area, Barbara Ferrer, public health director for the nation's largest county,
Her comment came two days after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned that
the city was "on the verge" of returning to shutting down all but essential
businesses, while San Francisco on Wednesday announced it would retain its ban
on indoor restaurant dining and businesses such as nail and hair salons that
require close contact with customers.
The moves were a troubling indication that authorities don't expect an early
end to the COVID-19 surge after managing to slower the infection spread earlier
California reported 11,126 additional confirmed cases of the virus between
Monday and Tuesday and 140 deaths, the second-highest one-day totals. The
largest uptick, by far, was in Los Angeles County, which has a quarter of the
It has had well over half of California's nearly 7,200 COVID-19 deaths.
The county on Wednesday reported more than 2,700 new COVID-19 cases and said
nearly 2,200 people were hospitalized, with 26% in intensive care. Multi-day
averages for newly confirmed cases and hospitalizations were at their highest
rates since the pandemic was declared, the Department of Public Health said.
Health officials believe much of the recent surge is coming from
transmissions among social circles and families and friends gathering for
summertime activities. While the elderly and infirm are most vulnerable,
younger people --- those between 18 and 40 --- now are accounting for an
increasingly large percentage of cases.
"I implore you to turn down that invitation to hang out with a group of
friends," Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis said. "In person gatherings
are simply not worth the risk."
The situation is so uncertain organizers of the 2021 Rose Parade in Pasadena
canceled the New Year's Day tradition for the first time in 75 years out of
concern that even six months from now infections could spread among
participants and the hundreds of thousands who line the route.
In San Diego County, the Del Mar racetrack canceled races for the upcoming
weekend after 15 jockeys tested positive for the virus.
Meanwhile, in Northern California, San Francisco said it would continue to
delay the reopening of many businesses because of a surge of infections in the
city, where the positive case rate per 100,000 has increased to nearly 8%. The
goal is to keep it at around 2%, said Dr. Grant Colfax, director of public
Even with the recent increase, San Francisco's population of nearly 900,000
people has fared remarkably well during the pandemic, with a total of around
4,700 cases and 50 deaths.
The city has maintained some of the most stringent measures in the state
since a shelter-in-place order in the San Francisco Bay Area began March 17.
Unlike nearly every other county, it never reopened indoor dining, hair and
nail salons, barbershops, museums, gyms, and other businesses considered
high-risk for transmission of the virus.
Meanwhile, San Francisco and Sacramento became the latest major school
districts to announce that classes would resume in the fall without on-site
instruction. Los Angeles, San Diego and Oakland are among other districts with
It's not just California's major urban areas that are seeing big increases
in cases. In San Joaquin County on the northern edge of the state's Central
Valley agricultural region, ICUs are operating at 121%. San Joaquin County
officials called in a federal medical assistance team of 20 physicians, nurses
and respiratory therapists to help as medical centers add more beds.