California becomes ground zero for holiday COVID-19 surge

As the nation grapples with the latest wave of coronavirus cases, California has borne the brunt of COVID-19’s deadly holiday surge. On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom acknowledged that the Golden State had recorded an astonishing 525,000 coronavirus cases in the previous two weeks alone, with daily increases of more than 40,000 cases suddenly becoming the new norm.

Video Transcript


GAVIN NEWSOM: Sober, sober reminder of how deadly this disease is and how tragic the loss of every life is but particularly those lives that are lost during the holiday seasons with loved ones and family members torn asunder.


We continue to see record-breaking ICU capacity hospitals that are getting filled up, a surge that we are experiencing not dissimilar to other parts of the country but putting real challenges on our staffing here in the state. The real hotspots right now, San Joaquin Valley, San Joaquin Valley it's 0%, and in Southern California, the most populous part of our state, it's 0%. We are anticipating a substantial increase in the hospital surge.

MARK GHALY: In an abundance of caution and to be well prepared begun to have conversations about how they stand up their crisis care teams, those who are in a hospital that are able to help support the bedside clinical team to make what are challenging decisions. But we continue to build up our capacity so that even though hospital systems may be preparing along those lines that we do everything we can to make sure Californians receive the care that they want.


SHONI TAYLOR: It's really frustrating when you work in health care, and you are on the front lines, and you see people still gathering, still having parties. And you kind of feel frustrated because I'm not doing any of that. I want to go on vacation. I want to gather with all of my friends and family. But I'm trying to be responsible.

MARK GHALY: Our actions today can make a difference on what happens down the road. Every bit of our ability to not mix, keep our face covering on, reduce the likelihood that we either transmit COVID or ourselves are infected by someone else transmitting it to us, that becomes a victory for the state.

GAVIN NEWSOM: Next tranche of vaccine, 233,000 doses, have now arrived across the state of California, Moderna now getting into parts of the state where Pfizer was not yet distributed, and encouraging news coming from Moderna and Pfizer as it relates to the expectations over the next number of weeks in terms of doses coming in on a more consistent basis.

SHONI TAYLOR: There is, like, this underlying mistrust of the government, I guess, and are they doing this to try to hurt people? Being a Black person, you have every right to be skeptical. And I think that you really have to do what's best for you. Do what's best for your family. I think doing your research, trusting science is really important. And really for me, also talking to people that-- that have had COVID-- my coworkers. I have several co-workers who have had COVID, and I don't want to get COVID.