‘Winter is coming’: State leaders work to avoid repeat of last winter’s surge in COVID-19 cases


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – Gov. Gavin Newsom and Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said Wednesday they want to do everything they can to avoid what happened last winter when hospital and intensive care unit space dwindled as COVID-19 cases climbed.

“Winter is coming,” the governor said as he and other state leaders warned that yet another potential COVID-19 spike could soon be on the way.

Visiting a Veterans Affairs facility in Los Angeles Wednesday, the governor pointed to rising case rates in other parts of the country and plateauing hospitalizations, cases and positivity rates in California.

“Vaccines are our way through this pandemic,” Ghaly said. “We are concerned about the winter, we are concerned about rising case numbers and pressure on our hospital system from a number of other issues on top of COVID.”

Ghaly urged anyone who wants a booster shot at this point to get one.

“Now is the best time to consider getting it and while you’re there inquire about the flu shot if you haven’t already,” he said.

Wednesday marked exactly two weeks since Newsom received his booster shot.

“That’s made up,” Newsom said in response to speculation he got sick from that shot. “I had absolutely no impact whatsoever from the COVID shot nor original, absolutely none. No fatigue, even no soreness.”

State health officials say about 90% of adults in the state have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

As of Wednesday, more than 110,000 children ages 5-11 have gotten their first shot in California.

“That is just the beginning with more than 1.6 million of them available to young people,” Ghaly said. “We’re starting to see this pick up, and I’m really excited what this means for our state.”

In preparation for that possible winter surge, the governor said he will be announcing a related executive order in the coming days.

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