State officials believe a spike in COVID-19 cases may hit by Christmastime

Posted at 8:34 PM, Dec 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-10 23:34:01-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — As federal officials work to approve a vaccine, state officials say we still haven't seen the worst from Thanksgiving.

Thursday morning, 23ABC spoke with Dr. Elaine Batchlor, CEO of Martin Luther King Junior Community Hospital in Los Angeles.

She said we're not even close to seeing the full post-Thanksgiving spike in cases.

"We won't see the full effect of Thanksgiving until around Christmastime. That's why you're seeing the strong reaction now because we are on the wrong trajectory now. We are having this incredibly fast increase already and if we continue on this trajectory our health care system will be overwhelmed and we will see the number of deaths going up."

Batchlor did say there is light at the end of the tunnel, with the FDA currently meeting, and potentially having a decision by the end of the weekend, which could lead to a rollout of vaccines soon.

Kern County Public Health officials said Thursday that vaccines should be arriving locally this weekend and that nurses, doctors, and staff at local hospitals will be receiving the first round of them.