With infections still on the rise, the cumulative number of Covid cases in Los Angeles County throughout the pandemic passed the 2 million mark today, with 43,582 new cases confirmed. These new cases brought the county’s total cases since the pandemic started to 2,010,964. The daily cases in the district reached an all-time high of 45,584 on Sunday.
Another 13 deaths have also been confirmed, bringing the county a total of 27,798 fatalities.
The number of Covid-positive patients in the district hospitals also continued to rise alarmingly and, according to the state, reached 3,472. That was an increase from 3,364 on Sunday. The number of hospital patients being treated in the intensive care unit also rose from 435 on Sunday to 482 on Monday.
The number of Covid-positive patients admitted to hospital has not been so high since February last year, during a severe winter surge that temporarily drove the number of patients to over 8,000. A government ensemble forecast released today showed the number of Covid-related hospital admissions in California peaked at 30,000 by the end of this month. That is more than 30% more than the previous record from last winter.
“With the rate of transmission on the rise and the rapidly increasing number of cases and hospital admissions, our already understaffed healthcare providers are under enormous strain as they try to care for so many people infected with COVID, including those with mild illnesses who seek help and support, with the unintended consequences Affect responsiveness across the system, ”the county public health director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement.
“With high community transmission having the inevitable impact of increasing demand for health services, the best way to protect health workers and our ability to care for both those with Covid and non-Covid is by reducing the number of people living with them Double transmission. ”
However, the county’s health ministry noted that the majority of COVID hospital admissions are among people originally admitted for a different reason and didn’t discover they had the virus until they were tested on admission.
In the week ending December 26, 55% of Covid-positive hospital patients had been admitted for a different reason – which suggests that while they were infected with Covid, they did not have severe virus symptoms.
However, the county health officials stressed that unvaccinated people are still 21 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID than vaccinated people.
The current surge in cases is being driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the virus.
“Although Omicron is much more contagious than previous strains of Covid, there are many effective strategies in place to reduce the risk of transmission over the next few weeks,” Ferrer said. “Meetings should also be postponed for a few weeks, especially if there are participants who are not fully vaccinated and cannot all test before meeting. After all, upgrading masks to ones that offer a better barrier against virus particles is a sensible step that increases our own protection along with those around us. “
The county’s moving average rate of people tested positive for the virus was 21.4% on Monday, down from 20.6% on Sunday and 20.9% on Saturday after a week of downward trends. The rate was below 1% in November.
However, the test positivity rate may be artificially low due to the number of people doing takeaway tests and not reporting the results, officials said.
A total of 67% of the district’s eligible residents are fully vaccinated.
The City Intelligence Service contributed to this report.