This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The rapid growth of Omicron is prompting officials to warn that hospitals could easily become overwhelmed, potentially within weeks, as they deal with a combination of the newest variant of the coronavirus along with patients hit by a holiday wave of the Delta strain.

California and the rest of the nation now face a formidable winter. According to the state’s COVID forecasting models, there are plausible scenarios in which a winter surge could hit hospitals worse than the summer Delta wave, which strained facilities across swaths of the state.

The combination is “a perfect storm for overwhelming our hospital system that is already strained,” said Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, a deputy health officer for Orange County.

So far, the year-end spike in Delta has been nowhere as severe as the rise a year ago.

Read the full story on