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COVID Surge Concerns Grow As Nation Heads Into The Holidays

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) - Americans are less than two weeks away from Thanksgiving, and a year removed from the worst parts of the Coronavirus pandemic that plagued most of 2020.

However, for the first time in two months, COVID-19 cases are trending upwards.

Doctors warn that the cold-weather season, increased gatherings and necessity for booster shots could be factors in this recent trend.

While concerns about the virus may be lower in 2021 than they were at this time last year, those worries still linger.

Doctor Michael Daignault, an emergency room physician at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, said that gatherings for many across the Southland should be okay - as long as people are cautious.

He offered some advice for a safer family gathering this Thanksgiving:

"Open windows or try to do it outside. We have to take advantage of this great weather we have year round here. I think having good ventilation is just as important as vaccination and rapid testing."

Daignault reassured that while concerns grow, we have more protection against COVID-19 than we did last year. He also said that the accuracy of rapid testing has increased, which could save many Thanksgivings from being ruined by a spread of the virus.

He recommend looking into booster shots before the holiday, especially when visiting with family that may come from areas with a higher transmission rate.

It was around this time last year that numbers started to grow in California, and numbers point towards the same trend in 2021 - a 30% increase in hospitalizations in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties have been reported in recent days.

Records indicate that at the current rate, Los Angeles County will miss its goal of having at least 80% of the population vaccinated by year's end.

The Los Angeles County Public Health Department reported nearly 1,000 new cases on Sunday (979), adding six new deaths and over 600 hospitalizations.

However, children vaccinations are on the rise, as Orange County specifically reported a high demand for vaccinations in children aged 5-to-11 years old. On Friday in California, an estimated 110,000 children had received their initial dosage of the vaccine.

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