California nears 1 million COVID-19 cases as new surges alarm health officials

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California is approaching 1 million coronavirus cases at a crucial moment in the pandemic.

After months of declining infections amid stricter reopening rules, the virus is again spreading, with Los Angeles County and Silicon Valley seeing new surges that are sparking alarm among health officials.

The concerns are heightened by the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. After months of restrictions, officials fear many people will make exceptions, attending gatherings that will further increase infections as California begins the holiday season.

China showed just how destructive and deadly large family meals can be in a pandemic, when celebrations for the Lunar New Year — that country’s version of Thanksgiving and Christmas — and related cross-country travel ended up seeding the highly contagious virus worldwide, fueling the worst global pandemic in more than a century.

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