Six cases of the more transmissible coronavirus variant first seen in the UK have now been confirmed in patients in Southern California, as preliminary health data shows the Golden State, already battered by Covid-19, may soon be heading into a feared "surge on top of a surge," Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a news conference Monday.
The new cases of the Covid-19 variant were reported in four patients in San Diego, one of whom is hospitalized, and two others in San Bernardino. It remains unclear how this strain of the coronavirus first seen in the UK has contributed to the recent surge of cases in the California.
"We are heading into what we anticipate as a surge on top of a surge... it's going to put a lot of pressure on hospitals and I see it coming out of the holidays," Newsom said.
California reported 29,633 new cases of Covid-19 and 97 additional deaths on Monday. New case counts are typically lower on Monday due to lags in reporting over the weekend. This particular reporting period is substantially lower than the seven-day average of 37,845 cases and testing data from the holidays will likely increase that number, the governor emphasized.
The state has seen a seven-fold increase in hospitalizations, and a six-fold increase in ICU admissions over the last two months as the state continues to see a skyrocketing number of new infections, Newsom said.