An ominous sign? COVID-19 hospitalizations rising in parts of California as winter holidays approach

Local news
August Lopez, 6, holds his 8-year-old sister Ruby’s hand as she gets her COVID-19 vaccine at Arleta High School on Monday.(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

August Lopez, 6, holds his 8-year-old sister Ruby’s hand as she gets her COVID-19 vaccine at Arleta High School on Monday.(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen significantly in the Inland Empire and Central Valley, bringing new concerns about whether the shift represents a precursor to a wider spike in COVID-19 in California as the winter holidays approach.

Across the state, both cases and hospitalizations hit a plateau after months of decline. Hospitalizations have remained fairly flat in some areas with relatively high vaccination rates, including the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles County.

But in some areas with lower vaccination rates, such as Riverside, San Bernardino and Fresno counties, conditions are deteriorating, with hospitalizations up by more than 20% in recent weeks. And even some places with relatively high vaccination rates are seeing COVID-19 hospitalizations tick upward; in Orange County, COVID-19 hospitalizations are up by 16% since Halloween.

Health officials have been warning about a potential new rise in COVID-19 in California as seniors who got their shots last winter — and haven’t received a booster shot — may start to see their immunity wane, leaving them exposed to greater risk for infection and hospitalization, and as people gather indoors more as the weather cools and the holidays approach.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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