Orange County Could See Second Coronavirus Wave by WinterVoice of OC


State public health officials and local epidemiologists warn there is likely going to be a second wave of Coronavirus spikes in the coming months, based on experiences in other parts of the country and world. 

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“So we’re going to have either a fall/winter wave or a winter wave — a second wave. I can’t exactly tell you when that wave will crest,” said Andrew Noymer, a public health expert and epidemiologist at UC Irvine. 

“We had this big wave in the summertime, in June/July. everyone remembers that. But that’s not the epidemic. This epidemic is going to have waves — plural. That wave that has now come and gone, that’s not the epidemic gone and over,” Noymer said in a Wednesday phone interview. 

Secretary of the state Health and Human Services Agency, Dr. Mark Ghaly, said hospitalizations could increase by next month. 

“We predict a 46 percent increase a month from now. So down from where we were before, but still an area of concern,” he said at a Tuesday news conference. 

“Many states across the nation and frankly nations across the globe are facing new waves of cases,” Ghaly said. 

Dr. Thomas Cesario, an infectious disease doctor and former dean of the UC Irvine School of Medicine, also said things look to be trending back up. 

“Looks like we’ve had a little uptick. So I think that second wave may be quite likely,” Cesario said in a Thursday phone interview. “I don’t know it’ll be as bad as the first, but I think it’s entirely possible we’re going to see a blip.” 

“If you look at the curve, across the country, you can see that curve starts to go back up again,” Cesario said. 

Dr. Matthew Zahn, medical director of the county Health Care Agency’s communicable disease control division, also said he expects an uptick. 

“I think that we are all anticipating a potential increase in the number of cases simply because we are entering cold and flu season,” Zahn said at a Thursday news conference. “The idea is that as it gets colder and people go inside and crowd inside more often.” 

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