I have been tracking the data on Orange County Coronavirus Positivity Percentage and Case Rate per 100,000 and currently, it has never been worse.
Since an upward trend started three months ago, the Positivity Percentage has increased by four times from 3.1 percent to 13.2 percent as of Wednesday, Dec. 16. The increase in the cases per 100,000 has been even more dramatic, going from 4.4 cases to 42.7 cases per 100,000 people…an increase of 900 percent!
The Southern California 11 County Region currently has 0 percent ICU beds availability and Orange County, on an adjusted basis, also has 0 percent ICU beds availability. Due to the extreme shortage of beds, the Orange County Health Care Agency has issued an order that diversion of ambulances from adjoining counties is no longer permitted as we have no beds to handle the overflow.
In a recent report by CBS news, there was a line of 17 ambulances with patients waiting at the emergency room at Los Alamitos Medical Center with nowhere else to take the sick and dying patients. Hospitals all over Southern California are only now seeing the predicted surge in cases from the Thanksgiving holiday.
This is serious folks. The disease is real. Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths are at an all-time high nationally and in California.
If you have been lucky enough not to have caught the Coronavirus up until now, this is the time to buckle down and redouble and triple your efforts to follow the health guidelines set down by the state and county health departments.
Stay home unless you need to be out because you are an essential worker, need supplies or are exercising.
Scrupulously wear a mask at all times in public and physically distance as much as you can. Wash your hands regularly. Only socialize with members of your own household and limit the size of your gatherings with other people.
If you are exposed to someone with Coronavirus or you have symptoms, get tested so you can avoid spreading it to others. If you are sick, isolate in your home. When you are eligible to receive the vaccine, get one.
And no, no one can force you to do these things. Do it to protect yourself and your family, friends, colleagues, co-workers, neighbors and those essential workers who are leaving their homes every day to keep our economy going by providing essential goods and services.
We all can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s not breakdown before we can all bask in that light.
President and CEO, Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce
Former Mayor of Newport Beach