COVID-19 cases in LA County have increased tenfold in one month

Coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County on Monday have increased tenfold from exactly one month ago, highlighting the stark reality with a winter rise mainly driven by the highly contagious omicron variant.

A total of 31,576 new COVID-19 cases were documented on Monday – an increase of ten times the number of cases reported on December 17, 2021, with 3,360 new cases reported, the LA County Public Health Department said in a press release.

Just a week ago, the county exceeded a total of 2 million COVID-19 cases, reaching 2,289,045 cases as of Monday.

The increase has also contributed to an increasing daily test positivity for several weeks now in the midst of yet another winter increase. The daily COVID-19 positivity rate is 16.5% on Monday, more than 8 times the daily positivity rate of 2% on December 17th.

In addition, the number of people currently hospitalized with the virus rose almost six times as many as a month ago – from 772 hospitalized to 4,564 people on Monday.

“The good news is that while hospital admissions continue to rise, public health data shows that many positive cases are admitted for reasons other than COVID, but are identified with COVID when tested for COVID at hospital admission,” the health department said last week.

As of Friday, more than 80% of all adult intensive care units in the county were occupied.

The Department of Public Health also noted that while the number of children hospitalized with the virus remains low, the number of those hospitalized in LA County hospitals has “increased significantly” over the past month, with the largest increase among children under 5 years of age.

The increase reflects national trends for the age group – the only one not yet eligible for the vaccine.

The county also experienced its highest coronavirus death rate in nearly 10 months over the past week, with an average of 40 COVID-19 deaths per day.

“As deaths often lag behind increases in cases and hospitalizations, the rise in deaths unfortunately does not come as a surprise, and tragically we are prepared for an even higher number of deaths in the coming weeks,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement Saturday. “With unvaccinated individuals who are 22 times more likely to die from COVID-19 compared to those who are fully vaccinated, residents should not delay being vaccinated and boosted as these measures save lives.”

There were 27 new COVID-19 deaths reported on Monday.

As Monday marks Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day, Ferrer pointed out that since the beginning of the pandemic, colored communities have experienced the greatest devastation from COVID-19 in LA County and across the nation.

“On this national holiday, as we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, we commemorate his deep commitment to health,” Ferrer said in a statement. “As Pastor King memorably said, ‘Of all kinds of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhumane, because it often results in physical death.'”

“As we continue to implement strategies – enforcing worker protection through our health officer orders, providing resources that many need to survive the impact of the pandemic, funding community-based organizations in hard-hit areas to serve as trusted public health messengers and increase vaccination access in under-sourced neighborhoods – we also need to work together to address the impact that racism, historical disinvestment and social marginalization have on COVID-19 results, ”she continued. “Although these conditions precede the pandemic, without conscious collective action to address the root causes of health inequalities, we are unlikely to close the gaps we have documented for 2 long years.”


Give a Comment