The mayor of the second largest city in U.S warned on Sunday that the coronavirus It could spread so far that households should prepare to isolate one family member at home without infecting others.
Anticipating a COVID-19 case boom that may overwhelm the healthcare system this week, Mayor Eric Garcetti urged people testing positive for the new coronavirus not to go to hospitals if they don’t have severe symptoms. Instead, he asked the 4 million city dwellers to ponder how to separate from their relatives while quarantining at home.
“Don’t just take social distancing seriously, I hope each of us takes isolation seriously,” said Garcetti, explaining that strategy as the next phase in the fight against the pandemic.
The mayor admitted that physical distance could be difficult to reach for people living in small spaces, noting that local authorities were preparing safe quarantine spaces for them.
Californians watched restrictions tighten over the weekend to keep them home as long as possible, as hospitals and health authorities tried to prepare for a week that could witness a drastic increase in coronavirus cases.
After a slow start, coronavirus testing among the state’s 40 million residents was significantly streamlined. Authorities have warned that this will rapidly increase the numbers of infected. The Johns Hopkins University count on Sunday afternoon totaled more than 6,200 cases in California, with at least 130 deaths.
California was collecting new respirators and fixing old-fashioned ones to anticipate a shortage of devices in hospitals in the coming days. Governor Gavin Newsom said Saturday that the federal government had shipped 170 broken respirators from national reserves. Engineers at Bloom Energy, a battery maker in San José, were working to recondition them and send them to hospitals.
Most of those infected with the new coronavirus experience mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough, lasting up to two to three weeks. But the virus can kill or cause serious complications like pneumonia in some people, especially the elderly and patients with previous medical problems.
The United States has identified 142,000 cases and 2,400 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University count., although it is believed that the real figure is considerably higher due to the lack of tests and minor cases that have not been accounted for.
The government’s top infectious disease expert warned Sunday that the coronavirus outbreak could kill 100,000 to 200,000 Americans, while outbreaks of infection in nursing homes and the growing list of affected cities increased concern across the country.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made those statements on CNN, adding that millions of Americans could become infected.