California’s COVID-19 surge is receding, but officials still call for holiday caution

California
Dieu Ngo, left, and Que Anh sell traditional Vietnamese clothing and decorative firecrackers in preparation for the Lunar New Year at the Asian Garden Mall in Little Saigon on Wednesday.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Dieu Ngo, left, and Que Anh sell traditional Vietnamese clothing and decorative firecrackers in preparation for the Lunar New Year at the Asian Garden Mall in Little Saigon on Wednesday.(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

California is steadily emerging from the crushing depths of the latest coronavirus surge — prompting optimism that the state is finally heading in the right direction, as well as renewed warnings that this holiday weekend could spur an abrupt about-face if the public lets its guard down.

Officials are particularly urging residents to abstain from crowded or indoor gatherings when they ring in the Lunar New Year or celebrate Valentine’s Day or Presidents Day, saying that such activities still present too great a risk.

“We know from experience that gatherings, parties and the other activities we usually do with non-household members on holidays leads to increases in transmission, hospitalizations and deaths,” Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Thursday. “Continuing to slow transmission requires limiting the number of people we interact with.

“If we do not gather, we save lives.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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