Feel free to be casual or put on the Ritz, but health experts urge everyone to stay home this New Year’s Eve and celebrate virtually as the coronavirus is surging at record levels. Yesterday, San Diego County reported a confirmed case of the new variant of COVID-19 that is highly contagious and first reported in the United Kingdom. It is up to 70% more contagious than the original virus. The San Diego resident is 30 years old and has no travel history outside of the United States, which means he contracted the new variant through community spread.
The coronavirus has surged to record levels here in Cathedral City. The month of December has been the most severe even when comparing it to the July summer surge. There were 689 confirmed cases in July compared to 2,103 confirmed cases in December with one more day of reporting to go. That’s nearly three times number of confirmed cases. Fourteen Cathedral City residents have died from COVID-19 this month.
Hospitals and their staff are overwhelmed if you do become ill. ICU bed capacity is at 0% for the entire Southern California Region. There are a record number of hospitalized patients in Riverside County at 1,484 suffering from COVID-19. This means they are too ill to recover at home. Of the 1,484 patients, a record 297 are in the ICU meaning they are receiving critical care and life support treatments. Those admitted to the hospital must recover alone as family members are not allowed to visit.
So, protect your family by listening to the medical experts and Stay Home. With vaccines developed and distribution underway, it will be well worth your effort now so that we can all celebrate 2021 in person later. If you do have to go out of the house for essential items or for work, be sure to follow these important tips:
- Wear a face mask when around others outside of your immediate household, even around extended family members
- If meeting others outside of your immediate household, try to meet outdoors.
- Social distance at least 6 feet away from others outside of your immediate household
- Limit your shopping in person to as few times each week as possible and avoid extended time inside a retail store, such as a grocery store.
- Wash your hands often throughout the day and especially before eating and drinking
- Disinfect often touched items like a smartphone that also touches your face