California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly gave a coronavirus briefing Friday suggesting that there are "early signs" of a spike in COVID-19 cases, particularly around Greater Sacramento and elsewhere in Northern California.
"We see these trend lines, which had been coming down and then flattening, now looking like they may be coming up, and not just over one or two days but over the course of a handful of days," Ghaly said, per KCRA. "We want to sound that bell for all of you."
Ghaly says this uptick could be the result of Labor Day gatherings two and a half weeks ago, the forced movement of people due to wildfire evacuations, and/or the increasing reopening of businesses in various counties.
"We've seen that before, we've done a good job to bring it down and certainly our hospital system, with the wonderful partners we have, are able to take care of that level of patients with need," he said. But problems could arise if, as he predicts, we are seeing a possible 89-percent rise in hospitalizations in the next month.
At present, there are 2,578 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in California, and that number could nearly double, Ghaly says, if the trend holds.
Here in the nine-county Bay Area, the average daily new cases are down 28 percent in the last two weeks compared to the previous two weeks — so perhaps Ghaly isn't talking about us?
San Francisco is expected to begin allowing indoor dining at limited capacity next week — but as Eater pointed out Friday, the 25-percent capacity rule includes any employees in the restaurant, which means very few indoor seats will be available in some restaurants.
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