EL MONTE (CBSLA) – With Los Angeles County reports one of the highest daily cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic started with 16,510 new infections, people all over the South are careful with their New Year’s plans.
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The line for the COVID-19 test at the Kaiser Permanente in Baldwin Park stretched from the motorway exit.
After spending Christmas with relatives and experiencing a bit of a cough, the Hernandez family from Hacienda Heights wanted some peace of mind.
“I think it applies to everyone, even to the family we were around during the holidays, just knowing that if we have the slightest tendency to get sick, it’s better to do so, in order to be safe than sorry, “said Patricia Hernandez.
Gregory Bibbs came to get his COVID booster shot. He said it is one of the few excursions he has had this holiday.
“I did not really go anywhere,” Bibs said. “I do not really eat out because this is serious.”
Across California, COVID-19-related hospital admissions have also increased, hitting 1,069 in LA County alone.
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Dr. Thomas Yadegar, Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center ICU director, has seen the impact on his own.
“Our seven-day positivity rate went from 2% to 12% just within the last 10 days,” said Dr. Yadegar.
Yadegar added that even doctors have called sick people, which is why he decided to cancel his own holiday plans. He said that if people are planning to get along with others, it is best if these people are vaccinated and boosted.
“I think it’s best to keep your contact to two to three households, and if you can, limit it to 12-15 people … if the weather allows it, get together in an outdoor setting,” said Dr . Yadegar.
Experts also said it is a good idea to be tested within 24 hours of a collection.
“I’m scheduled to go back to work next Monday and I’d rather be safe than sorry,” David Hernandez said. “As she said, also peace of mind.”
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Dr. Yadegar also suggested people postpone their New Year celebration by a few weeks, which would help prevent the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19 from spreading further in the community.