California officials are bracing for the worst as the coronavirus pandemic continues its global rampage.
According to CNN, the Mayors of Los Angeles and San Francisco are urging their constituents to continue to stay at home in order to avoid a surge in cases, not unlike the turn the crisis has currently taken in New York, which has dubbed itself the epicenter of the virus.
“No matter where you are, this is coming to you,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in an online address on Thursday, CNN notes. “Everybody is the new ‘whatever the worst city is’ right now. Take all the measures you can now to make sure people are home.”
“I was asked by a reporter today ‘is Los Angeles the next New York,'” he added… “And I said sure in the same way that NewYork is now the next Italy, and Italy was the next Iran and Iran was the next China, and no matter where you live, you are the next next.”
Los Angeles County has seen at least 21 deaths as a result of the virus and has reported more than 1,200. The mayor noted that there was an increase of more than 50 percent in the cases in a single day almost overnight at one point.
“These are not numbers. These are neighbors. These are not statistics,” he added. “These are the loved ones that are in our families and our communities and our workplaces.”
San Francisco Mayor London Breed also cautioned residents to obey edicts to stay at home, warning that ignoring this order could result in overwhelming hospitals.
San Francisco Director of Public Health Dr. Grant Colfax noted that “It is plausible that despite all these efforts we could have a scenario similar to the one that is playing out in New York this very day.”
California currently has more than 4,000 confirmed cases as of early Friday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, putting it only behind New York and New Jersey, the two hardest-hit states.
California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly grimly noted that the cases are also doubling every few days.
“We originally thought that it would be doubling every six to seven days and we see cases doubling every three to four days,” Dr. Ghaly said.
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