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ABC7: California COVID-19 Cases Rising

Cedars-Sinai physicians Michael Ben-Aderet, MD, associate director of Hospital Epidemiology, and Sam Torbati, MD, co-chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine, recently were interviewed by ABC7 Eyewitness News and KPCC-FM program AirTalk about the possibility of a new COVID-19 surge in California.

California’s COVID-19 transmission rates in mid-November were surpassing those in other states that have fewer people vaccinated and fewer pandemic restrictions in place. But Ben-Aderet told ABC7 reporter Rob Hayes that California’s protocols and high vaccination rates are still paying off.

"We've had surges here in California, but even with the density of population in our state, with the number of people, with the big cities that we have, our mortality is significantly lower than these other places," Ben-Aderet told Hayes.

Torbati told AirTalk host Larry Mantle that high vaccination rates in L.A. County are reducing the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19, even as case numbers rise. "[Vaccinated] people are getting symptomatic. They're testing positive, but they're not getting sick enough to land in the hospital," Torbati said. "That's really what we want."

Torbati and Ben-Aderet stressed the importance of vaccination, including booster shots for those eligible, as the approaching holidays bring an increased risk of transmission.

"Around the Thanksgiving holiday and as we get into the colder season, now’s the time to get [vaccinated]," Torbati told Mantle, expressing disappointment at the low demand for boosters thus far.

"The booster is incredibly safe, just as safe as the initial vaccination," Ben-Aderet told KABC. "No one should have any hesitation about that."

Click here for the complete story from ABC7 and the complete interview from KPCC.