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COVID-19 surge prompts stay-at-home order for millions of Californians

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Posted at 10:08 AM, Dec 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-08 12:08:52-05

More than 1 million people in the U.S. have been infected with the coronavirus in just the past five days, pushing the country past 14.9 million cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. One model used by the White House shows the death toll could hit 3,000 a day by mid-January.

The U.S. has shattered another record, with over 102,000 people hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the COVID Tracking Project. This is pushing medical centers to the edge and forcing states to make drastic moves to stop the virus from spreading.

California Governor Gavin Newsom, along with several Bay Area counties, have put 33 million people under virtual lockdown as hospitals across the state are filling up fast and cases are skyrocketing. The stay-at-home order went into effect Sunday one minute before midnight.

Parts of Southern California already look like a ghost town. At the height of holiday shopping, all stores are now limited to 20% capacity. Hotels are being told not to take in tourists — only essential workers. Restaurants are not allowed to offer either indoor or outdoor dining, limiting them to only take-out and delivery service only.

Without that revenue, Angela Marsden said she may have to close her restaurant. In the same parking lot, a production company legally set up catering for its crew.

"Tell me that this is dangerous, but right next to me is a slap in my face," Marsden said in a video. "This is safe?" she asked.

California restaurants aren't the only ones with an uncertain future. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that he will shut down indoor dining at New York City restaurants as early as next week if hospitalizations continue to rise.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said indoor dining is a key source of COVID-19 spread.

Meanwhile, the U.S. faces a grim reality. Every hour, the country is seeing more than 8,000 new COVID-19 cases and nearly 100 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading expert on infectious diseases, told "CBS Evening News" anchor and managing editor Norah O'Donnell on Monday that the worst is yet to come.

"The blip from Thanksgiving isn't even here yet, so we're getting those staggering numbers of new cases and hospitalizations before we even feel the full brunt of the Thanksgiving holiday," said Fauci.

In Hawaii, a somber gathering was held at Pearl Harbor to remember the day that will live in infamy, when 2,400 died in the attack that launched America into World War II — nearly the same number of coronavirus deaths are now reported every day nationwide.

In the U.K., the coronavirus vaccine rollout begins Tuesday in more than 50 hospitals in what's being called the biggest health challenge the country has ever faced. In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration could authorize the Pfizer vaccine by the end of this week. Once there's approval, the first shipments could come within 24 hours.