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US COVID case numbers would be on the decline if not for California increases

As daily coronavirus cases plateau in the United States, it appears that the increase in number is being entirely driven by one state: California.

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As daily coronavirus cases plateau in the United States, it appears that the increase in number is being entirely driven by one state: California.

Daily coronavirus cases spiked in the Midwest during the fall but have since been declining while daily cases in the South continue to remain high. However, the largest spike in recent weeks has been in the Golden State, Mercury News reports.

New cases in California are rising so dramatically that the otherwise declining rates of new infections across the rest of the country are largely cancelled out, causing daily US coronavirus cases to plateau.

New cases of the virus have particularly risen in southern California, where intensive care units (ICUs) are overflowing with patients and lockdown restrictions are most severe.

"In most hospitals, about half of all of the beds are filled with COVID patients and half of all the ICU beds are filled with COVID patients, and two thirds of these patients are suffocating due to the inflammation that’s in their lungs that’s caused by the virus," said LA Department of Health Services director Christina Ghaly.

The situation in Los Angeles County is particularly out of control, with mayor Eric Garcetti stating "we know that this emergency is our darkest day, maybe the darkest day in our city's history."

The northern part of the state, however, is not experiencing such a dire situation. ICUs in the Bay Area, while caring for a lot of patients, have not yet met capacity as their counterparts in the southern half of the state have.

California has implemented harsh coronavirus restrictions across most of the state. The restrictions have faced opposition, however, with residents of the state in particular pointing out the hypocrisy of elected officials who have violated their own coronavirus lockdown rules. Governor Gavin Newsom was subjected to heavy criticism after he was caught dining with a group of lobbyists at a hotel in Napa.

Health experts warn that coronavirus cases in California could spike even further in January after the holiday season is over.

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