Sonoma County Bans Large Gatherings as COVID Surge Threatens Hospitals
Strict public health measures could be making a comeback in some California counties as an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases strains the health care system.
Sonoma County announced a 30-day ban on large gatherings, effective Wednesday, Jan. 12. For indoor gatherings, 50 people is the limit. For outdoor gatherings, the limit is 100. Health officials are advising residents to cancel smaller gatherings too, though it is not required.
In Los Angeles County, residents are also being advised to postpone gatherings and avoid crowded areas where people are unmasked. It’s not a requirement, but a suggestion officials hope the public will take seriously.
California hit a milestone on Monday, reaching 6 million cumulative cases. In Sonoma County, cases have jumped nearly 400%. Hospitalizations tripled over a six-day period and the state fears facilities will be unable to handle the strain. The challenges are mounting despite an impressive 78% vaccination rate in the county.
Los Angeles recorded 43,582 new cases Monday and has also reached a grim milestone of 2 million cases. The test positivity rate is now 21.4%. And that is believed to be an undercount due to the widespread use of at-home tests.