LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — California health officials are encouraging residents to take flu and coronavirus precautions seriously as COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the state.
Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Secretary of Health of Human Services, said some reopening plans along with impacts from fire evacuations, Labor Day gathering, and the flu season could cause a surge of new coronavirus cases.
Everyone six months and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exceptions, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Several drive-through coronavirus testing sites and flu vaccination sites have opened throughout the country to help residents get the preventative care and testing they need.
Ghaly said it is possible that hundreds of coronavirus and flu cases could overwhelm state hospitals.
It should also be noted that people can become ill will both COVID-19 and influenza at the same time.
“We are still very vulnerable with so many things coming as we enter winter,” he said.
To date, there are currently about 3,500 confirmed and suspect coronavirus patients hospitalized in the state, the California Hospital Association said.
Johns Hopkins University reports that California currently has more than 800,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, which is the highest state count nationwide.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)