Pressure on Orange County’s hospitals eases after relentless winter surge

Whether hospitalizations will ever get as bad as they did in December and January is a matter of whether enough people can be vaccinated before COVID-19 has a chance to mutate into more contagious variants, said Dr. Shruti Gohil, associate medical director of epidemiology and infection prevention at UC Irvine Medical Center. “This is a race against time,” Gohil said. “If we do our job really well and get the vaccine blanketed out there, then we stand a chance to stomp this out to a level where we really can end this pandemic.”