Officials across Southern California are grappling with whether to temper reopening efforts in the face of rising coronavirus hospitalizations, a move that seems likely to spark public outcry.
Statewide, hospitalizations among COVID-19 patients have been relatively flat for the last six weeks, even as officials have allowed myriad businesses to open their doors and a number of residents have resumed daily routines. But in Orange and Ventura counties, hospitalizations are again on the rise, prompting health experts to warn that if the trend continues, it could cause officials to slow the pace of reopening.
The warning comes days before a wave of personal-care industries, including nail salons and massage therapy and tattoo shops, are set to reopen in California. The reasons for the rising numbers vary, but health officials have expressed concern about some people not following health and safety recommendations, including wearing face coverings and social distancing.
“We have met the enemy, and they are us,” said Dr. Robert Levin, the health officer in Ventura County. “And many of us have to do a better job of social distancing and quarantine. Some of us are doing a great job; we’re stalwarts. If we can do this — and I know we can — we can prevent the state from telling us that we must take a step back from some of the gains we’ve made in opening our activities and businesses.”
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