COVID-19 hospitalizations worsen in California, raising new alarms

The number of people hospitalized with coronavirus infections in California has doubled in just the last two weeks and is rapidly headed to breaking past its summertime high, according to a Times analysis.

The surge in hospitalizations came as California surpassed another bleak milestone: More than 19,000 deaths related to COVID-19, according to The Times’ independent county-by-county tally.

There were nearly 6,650 people with coronavirus infections in California’s hospitals as of Thursday, double the number that existed on Nov. 11, when 3,300 people were hospitalized. Thursday’s hospitalization numbers were 93% of the peak of COVID-19 hospitalizations, which was recorded in mid-July, when 7,170 people were in the hospital.

The extraordinary growth in hospitalizations is accelerating at a sustained pace that is unprecedented since the first months of the pandemic. In Los Angeles County, the total number of people who are in hospitals with coronavirus infections is jumping by roughly 80 patients a day on average over a seven-day period — a rate of increase not seen since the earliest weeks of the pandemic.

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