covid-tamales-california Margarita Montañez, 73, of San Fernando Valley, survived COVID-19 in April. Now she is thanking the medical staff that helped her.
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“They are the heroes, and they deserve the best tamales in the world, which are my mom’s tamales,” the daughter of Margarita Montañez said.

Back in April, 73-year-old Margarita Montañez got sick with COVID-19. The grandmother, and resident of San Fernando Valley, was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, where she remained for 20 days. Thankfully, despite being in the ICU and on a ventilator, Montañez survived. 

On Dec. 17, Montañez and her daughter went back to Cedars-Sinai to show their gratitude to healthcare workers who saved her life. The grandmother of 12 children took 800 tamales to feed medical personnel. She said it only took her five days to make them. 

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“I appreciate the doctors and nurses because they helped me,” Montañez said to KTLA

Her daughter Cindy told the news station that taking her mother to the hospital in April was one of the “most frightening days” of her life. 

“People may not remember her, but she remembers the medical staff every single day because of what they did to save her life and the lives of literally thousands of people. So they are the heroes, and they deserve the best tamales in the world, which are my mom’s tamales,” Cindy said. 

Cindy added that her mom makes tamales every year for the holidays, and this year she wanted to share that tradition with the staff at Cedars-Sinai. 

Montañez told Primer Impacto that it was while she was still hospitalized that she promised the staff at Cedars-Sinai that if she survived, she’d bring them back some of her famous tamales. 

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And for those wondering what kind of tamales she made, Montañez said she delivered two batches of tamales: one with cheese and roasted peppers, and the other was of chicken and red chile. 

COVID Cases Surge in California 

Much like the rest of the country, California is experiencing a major resurgence of COVID cases. The New York Times reports that on Dec. 20, at least 85 new coronavirus deaths and 42,732 new cases were reported. Furthermore, “over the past week, there has been an average of 42,715 cases per day, an increase of 96% from the average two weeks earlier.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic in the US, California has reported 1,910,100 cases and 22,820 deaths. 

COVID Vaccine Arrives in the Golden State

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reports that on Dec. 13, the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in California, and the rollout of the vaccine began the following day. 

Healthcare workers are prioritized in the first phase of distribution in California, though it will take time to vaccinate all of them. According to the CDPH, California has an estimated 2.4 million healthcare workers, and the state’s first vaccine shipment from Pfizer will contain about 327,000 doses.