California passes 25,000 deaths, finds 3 more variant cases

LOS ANGELES (AP) — California surpassed 25,000 coronavirus deaths since the start of the pandemic and officials disclosed on Thursday that three more cases involving a mutant variant of the virus have been confirmed in San Diego County.

The grim developments came as an ongoing surge swamps hospitals and pushes nurses and doctors to the breaking point as they brace for another likely increase after the holidays.

“We’re exhausted and it’s the calm before the storm,” said nurse and emergency room leader at Providence St Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley Jahmaal Willis. “It’s like we’re fighting a war, a never-ending war, and we’re running out of ammo. We have to get it together before the next fight.”

Public health officials continued to plead with residents just hours before the start of 2021 not to gather for New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer takes questions at a news conference in Los Angeles. PHOTO: AP