COVID-19 crisis improves for Sacramento region, but L.A. County braces for more


As parts of Northern California began to see the first guarded signs of progress Tuesday in the battle against the winter coronavirus surge, communities in hard-hit Southern California were bracing for more cases to swarm hospitals already overwhelmed as COVID-19 continues to rise.

The post-Christmas surge is still slamming Los Angeles and surrounding counties. The spread is increasing again as people infected during holiday events test positive. Officials expect that will lead to more hospitalizations, but how much remains a critical question because medical infrastructure is already at the breaking point.

Any new spike in infections, officials warn, will trigger a resulting wave of new patients requiring professional care — creating an unsustainable strain on already overtaxed hospitals and intensive care units.

On Tuesday, a tally of local health jurisdictions found 318 deaths reported in L.A. County, tying the record single-day high of deaths recorded on Friday.

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