Three counties northwest of Los Angeles are experiencing alarming spikes in coronavirus cases, further heightening the level of infections in already hard-hit Southern California and triggering fresh fears about potentially overtaxing local healthcare systems.
Conditions in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties have worsened considerably due to a post-holiday surge of the virus, with the average number of daily new cases more than doubling the rate seen two weeks ago, according to data compiled by The Times.
Infections in Ventura County have risen so rapidly that one doctor publicly wondered whether the area could face its own “New York moment.”
“I’m tired of having to talk to family members to tell them that their family member has passed away from this disease,” Dr. Mark Lepore, intensive care unit physician at Ventura County Medical Center, said last week. “I’m tired of hearing about family members that are coming to the hospital way too late because … they’re concerned that, when they go, they’re not going to come out alive.”
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