In a stunning sign of the heavy burden California’s hospitals are facing this winter, the state’s total number of hospitalizations for all reasons is approaching the peak of last winter’s COVID-19 surge, even as there are some signs that the rise in coronavirus-positive patients may be starting to ebb.

Late last week, California averaged 52,000 people daily in its hospitals for all reasons. The count includes patients who were admitted not only for coronavirus-related reasons, but for other reasons as well, such as car collisions and cancer.

That number is higher than the summer Delta surge, which topped out at 50,000 hospitalizations, according to state Department of Public Health data reviewed by The Times.

California’s pandemic record of 55,000 people hospitalized daily for all reasons was reached last winter and averaged over a seven-day period.

Read the full story on