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Officials warn of rapid rise in COVID cases, hope to avoid another lockdown

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Posted at 7:19 PM, Nov 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-15 09:33:00-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - California health officials announced Friday the steepest climb in positive coronavirus cases in history.

"When I'm worried I'll tell you so you can worry with me and we're there," California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly said. He's worried hospitals could be overwhelmed if we don't stop the rapid spread of the virus.

"This rapid rate of rise could be even higher if we don't act soon," Dr. Erica Pan, state epidemiologist and deputy director of the California Department of Public Health Center for Infectious Diseases, said.

Pan added that we could have a higher spike than we saw over the summer.

Many are taking their words to heart and stocked up to stay home.

San Diegans saw empty shelves and product limits this week across the county, but officials urge consumers not to worry.

"We didn't put limits on early enough. There's plenty of product in the supply chain and we just thought it would be better to be proactive because when people only buy what they need there's plenty of supply in the supply chain," said. Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen, asking customers to only buy what they need.

When it comes to another lockdown, Director of the National Institute of Health Dr. Anthony Fauci says it's unnecessary.

"Public health measures, not lockdown of the country, but public health measures that are simple and easy to understand. The universal wearing of masks. The physical distancing. The avoiding congregating and crowded places. Outdoors is better than indoors, washing hands. It sounds simple in the context of this ominous outbreak but it can turn it around and that's what we need to do," Fauci said.

Dr. Ghaly said that doesn't mean more restrictions are off the table.

"If additional changes to the purple tier are required we will be working with our local partners to determine what's there ... We are not looking today at a state-wide stay-at-home order," said Ghaly.