LOS ANGELES — A dramatic surge in Coronavirus cases has sidelined more than 800 Los Angeles city police and fire personnel and led to slightly longer ambulance and fire response times, adding to concerns about shortages of critical staff including health care workers.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said, Thursday, that more than 500 LAPD officers and other police employees and nearly 300 firefighters were off-duty after testing positive for COVID-19, though he said measures were being taken to ensure the safety of the public.

“This is an incredibly tough moment,” Garcetti said. “The Omicron variant has taken off like wildfire.”

The surge of cases in the country’s most populous state is threatening to overwhelm hospitals. State officials, on Wednesday, extended an indoor mask mandate into mid-February as the Omicron variant also sidelines health care workers, leading to hospital staffing shortages that could become a bigger problem.

“We are and continue to be concerned about our hospitals,” Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said. “Some facilities are going to be strapped.”

Public Health officials across the state have advised residents to avoid visiting emergency rooms for COVID-19 tests or treatment that could be handled by a family doctor, telemedicine or at urgent care clinics.

California’s confirmed cases have shot up nearly 500% in the last two weeks and hospitalizations have doubled since Christmas to more than 8,000. State models forecast hospitalizations could top 20,000 by early next month, a level nearly as high as last January, when California experienced its deadliest surge.

(1) comment

Jimzan 2.0

First of all, this is an article by the "ASSOCIATED PRESS" biggest POS media company on the planet (IMHO). The Dems really need to upsell the CoVid Panic...the POS weasels have gotten use to the power. It will be nice to see them suffer when their power is stripped from them...hopefully many of them will go to jail.

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