ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. (KABC) -- Many hospitals across southern California are seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases, including Mission Hospital in Orange County.
Most cases are not severe and patients are usually sent home, but the number of patients coming through the emergency room continues to climb.
"That's a concern for what's down the road, one, two, three weeks from now," said emergency doctor Dr. Robert Goldberg. He said that just a few months ago, the hospital was considering closing its COVID-19 wing because case numbers were so low.
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"There are some theories out there that because we're wearing masks, because we're socially isolating, maybe that initial viral load isn't that great, so the patients don't seem to be as sick early on," Goldberg said.
Goldberg said that so far, the "twindemic" combination of flu season and COVID-19 surges has been avoided.
Although several hundred hospital beds are still available in Orange County, holiday gatherings could create a strain on health care systems.