As California faces tough weeks ahead, public will play key role in slowing outbreak

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Capping a week of dramatic rises in novel coronavirus cases and deaths, health officials said Friday that California should brace for at least several more challenging weeks as the virus spreads and officials fight to keep unprecedented social distancing restrictions going.

Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, said that the county should expect to see 1,000 new coronavirus cases a day in the coming weeks and that the key to keeping the rate of spread manageable is for the public to stay largely at home.

“The next few weeks are going to be critically important, because we are going to see more cases of people who are positive with COVID-19, but it’s our hope that the rate of increase continues to be manageable and that we don’t overwhelm our healthcare system,” she said.

Whether the increase remains manageable, Ferrer said, depends on how well residents adhere to guidelines that they wash their hands frequently, stay home as much as possible, remain six feet away from others when leaving the house and avoid going out entirely if they are over the age of 65, feel sick or have underlying health conditions.

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