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LA County reports more than 20,000 new COVID cases before New Year’s Eve

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As expected, Los Angeles County topped 20,000 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. Viral infections have increased dramatically, hospitalizations continue to increase, and there is growing concern that deaths may soon increase.

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer reported 20,198 new COVID infections on Thursday. She said this was three times as many as it was just a week ago.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, new cases have raised the county-wide total to 1,669,545. An additional 24 COVID-related deaths were reported, with a total county death toll of 27,625.

Wednesday coverage: LA County’s COVID incident almost doubles in a day, and the county encourages a limited New Year celebration

Even more dramatically, as of Thursday, the average daily rate of people who tested positive for the virus had risen to 21%. This is seven times that of a week ago. Last month, that percentage was less than 1%.

“In fact, we are currently experiencing the worst surge with an increase in the number of cases,” Feller said in an online briefing.

The number of COVID-positive patients in county hospitals continues to grow, with state figures at 1,365 as of Thursday, up from 1,251 on Wednesday. The number of patients in the intensive care unit was 214, an increase from 198 the day before.

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According to Feller, the circulation of highly infectious Omicron variants of COVID-19 infects fully vaccinated people, while hospitalization continues to affect primarily unvaccinated people. increase. She said the hospitalization rate for unvaccinated people was 28 per 100,000 inhabitants, while the vaccination rate was relatively flat at 1 per 100,000.

“Vaccination remains very protective against hospitalization,” she said.

She shows that, according to statistics, unvaccinated people are 14 times more likely to die of the virus than vaccinated people. She also said that the county-wide mortality rate was relatively flat, despite the dramatic surge in infectious diseases, but that could change, she said.

“Fortunately, the number of deaths is low and unchanged, because it’s only been about a week since hospitalizations began to increase,” she said.

Authorities say that about 90% of COVID deaths during a pandemic occurred in people with underlying illness. The most common conditions are high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

According to county statistics, of the more than 6.3 million complete vaccinated people in the county, 127,172 are virus-positive at a rate of 2% and 3,094 are hospitalized at a rate of 0.05%. A total of 602 fully vaccinated people died at a rate of 0.01%.

Overall, 79% of eligible county residents over the age of 5 have been vaccinated at least once and 71% have been fully vaccinated. Of the county’s total population of 10.3 million, 75% have been vaccinated at least once and 67% have been fully vaccinated.

Children aged 5 to 11 have the lowest immunization rates. This is the latest age group for shots.

Feller urged more people to be vaccinated, saying there are 2.9 million vaccinated residents in the county who are eligible for additional vaccinations that have not yet been vaccinated.

“We have an urgent need to protect more people with boosters,” she said.

Feller and county supervisor Holly Mitchell urged residents to be cautious when celebrating New Year’s Eve, saying Feller “has an unprecedented risk of viral infection in our county.” .. She encouraged people to avoid large gatherings and gather outside as much as possible. She said that people in underlying health or unvaccinated should avoid the rally altogether.

Mr. Feller said the Rose Parade has traditionally respected plans to go on schedule on Saturday, despite the large crowds. However, she said that people at high risk of viral infection or serious illness if infected should avoid participation.

“This year may be the year some people are watching this on TV,” she said.

The city of Long Beach, which maintains its own health sector separate from the county, such as Pasadena, also issued a statement on Thursday warning of a dramatic increase in COVID infections. According to the city, the average daily number of cases in Long Beach increased by 1,234% during December.

“The number of cases is increasing on Long Beach, but the good news is that hospitalizations haven’t increased as rapidly as last January,” City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis said in a statement. “This is evidence of the fact that vaccination and booster immunization have proven effective in preventing serious illnesses. If you have not been vaccinated yet, you will be vaccinated and if you are eligible Get a booster. Whether you are vaccinated or not, it is important to have a test if you have mild COVID-19 symptoms such as a cold or allergy. “

The Billie Jean King Main Library in Long Beach was closed on Thursday due to “known COVID-19 exposure”. The affected area is being cleaned and will resume on Tuesday, according to library officials.

For the latest Southern California news, visit FOX11 Los Angeles.

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