COVID-19 surge from holiday gatherings in LA County has begun, officials say

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- "The anticipated surge from the winter holiday gatherings has begun. And 10s upon 10s of thousands of people are paying the price with new COVID-19 infections," said Los Angeles County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer.

They were ominous words from Dr. Ferrer on Monday. She is urging people to get tested.

"Today, unfortunately, I'd be remiss if I didn't remind you that, given the current state of the pandemic in Los Angeles County. The worst is almost certainly still ahead of us. As of today, hospitals continue to be significantly strained all hospitals are being inundated with COVID patients in our four public CHF operated hospitals," said Dr. Christina Ghaly.

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Health officials say the surge from holiday gatherings in Los Angeles County has begun and they are urging people to get tested.

COVID testing resumed on Monday at Dodger stadium after a weekend reconfiguration to ease traffic in nearby neighborhoods. But more than two hours before the gates open cars were lined up. By afternoon, there were cars backed up to Broadway in Chinatown.

An appointment is needed, and there were no available time slots Monday or Tuesday.

ICU capacity continues to be zero in Los Angeles County.

Gov. Gavin Newsom explains why COVID-19 vaccine rollout is slow going
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Governor Gavin Newsom expects an even bigger post-holiday COVID-19 surge in California, he said in a noon press conference update today. He also gave an update on the regional stay-at-home order and the slow vaccine rollout.

The state is trying to get more people vaccinated but so far it has been a slow process. Right now the state has almost 1.3 million doses of the vaccine on hand, and it's getting another 611,000 this week. But so far just 454,000 doses have been administered.

"That said, it's gone too slowly I know for many of us. All of us we want to see 100% of what's received immediately administered in people's arms," said Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The County of Los Angeles says it has 400,000 new cases of COVID in just the last month.

"These figures make clear that we need equitable distribution of the vaccine in disadvantaged neighborhoods, in part because many of these areas are comprised of a essential worker," said Hilda Solis.

This comes as two people in San Bernardino County tested positive for the new variant of COVID-19 first discovered in the United Kingdom. That's in addition to four in San Diego. The governor says the new variant is more contagious but not more dangerous.

Dodger Stadium COVID-19 testing site reopens with changes to alleviate traffic congestion
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The Dodger Stadium COVID-19 testing site, which is the largest in the U.S., reopened Monday after a weekend closure for restructuring to alleviate traffic in the area.

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