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LA Coronavirus Cases: 12,488 Cases, 91 Deaths Today

Updated
Published
A restaurant worker in Los Angeles wears a face covering and gloves while handling takeout orders on April 5, 2020. Mario Tama/

L.A. County health officials reported 12,488 new coronavirus cases today, and 91 new deaths associated with the virus.

This represents a significant drop in the total number of cases reported for the past three days, but officials did not comment on whether that means cases are going down overall.

Currently, there are 7,544 people hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those patients, 21% are in the ICU.

Today’s numbers bring the total number of cases in the area to 818,639, and the total number of deaths to 10,773.

OVERALL LOOK AT LA COUNTY NUMBERS:

Here's a look at longer-term trends in the county. To see more, visit our California COVID-19 Tracker and choose L.A. County or any other California county that interests you. These numbers are current as of Saturday, Jan. 2:

L.A. County coronavirus cases, as of Jan. 2, 2020.

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LA County COVID-19 Cases Surpass 800,000

Updated
Published
Colorado Blvd. was quiet on New Year's Day for the first time in decades, as the Rose Parade was canceled because of concerns around the coronavirus. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

The number of new coronavirus cases in Los Angeles continues to soar.

On Saturday, the county surpassed 800,000 cases, which reflects the fastest spread of the virus since it was first detected in the area.

According to the county’s department of public health, L.A. reported 400,000 cases between Jan. 26 and Nov. 30, 2020. The following month, between Dec. 1 and Jan. 2, another 400,000 cases were reported, doubling the number of infections in just four weeks.

“The strategy for stopping the surge is fairly straightforward,” said Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health. “When people stay away from other people, the virus cannot spread as it is doing now. The more we stay home and the more we avoid in-person activities with other people we don’t live with, the more we reduce the spread of the virus.”

On Saturday, 138 new deaths and 15,701 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in L.A. County. The virus has proved fatal for a total of 10,682 people in the area since late January.

Part of Saturday’s death count was the result of a backlog.

Currently, 7,627 people are hospitalized with COVID-19, and 21% of those patients are in the ICU.

However, the remaining ICU capacity in Southern California is still at 0%. Ambulances carrying new patients to emergency rooms are forced to wait in their bays for up to seven or eight hours, resulting in patients being treated in the vehicles instead of in the hospital.

L.A. County public health officials said in a statement that, “[t]he only path that will reduce the demand on hospital care is to decrease the number of people becoming newly infected with COVID-19.”

OVERALL LOOK AT LA COUNTY NUMBERS:

Here's a look at longer-term trends in the county. To see more, visit our California COVID-19 Tracker and choose L.A. County or any other California county that interests you. These numbers are current as of Saturday, Jan. 2:

L.A. County coronavirus cases, as of Jan. 2, 2020.


Our news is free on LAist. To make sure you get our coverage: Sign up for our daily newsletters. To support our non-profit public service journalism: Donate Now.

Freshmen Orange County Republican Congress Members Sworn In

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Published
New Republican Congresswoman Michelle Steel (R-Seal Beach) was sworn in by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (left) as her husband Shawn Steel holds a bible. (courtesy Michelle Steel)

A new year brings the convening of a new Congress in the nation’s capital, including some fresh faces from Southern California.

And for the first time on record, the swearing-in ceremony happened on a Sunday.

Why? The Constitution dictates each new Congress starts at noon on January 3rd. If that falls on a weekend, official business is usually put off until the following Monday. But the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives wasted no time, in part to avoid giving President Trump a chance to make recess appointments.

The 117th Congress includes two new members from Orange County: Michelle Steel and Young Kim, who join Marilyn Strickland (D-WA) as the first Korean American women in Congress.

Steel and Kim are already being associated with a group of new Republican members presenting themselves as a counterpoint to the “Squad,” the alliance of liberal Democratic women who won seats in 2018, headed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

COVID precautions forced changes to the usual festive atmosphere on the first day of a new Congress, when spouses and kids typically fill the Capitol to celebrate and take selfies. Instead, swearing-in ceremonies were held in small groups, and only freshman representatives were allowed to bring a guest.

It was the culmination of a long campaign and whirlwind transition for Steel. In November, her opponent, Democrat incumbent Harley Rouda, conceded one week after Election Day.

“And that afternoon, I got an email [saying to] show up for orientation on Thursday, giving me two days,” she said.

On top of attending the two-week boot camp on House ethics and procedures for freshmen Representatives, there was staff to hire and an office to set up. Add to that, finding a small apartment to stay in while working in D.C. — all while still chairing the Orange County Board of Supervisors, leading meetings remotely.

“It was like drinking out of a fire hose,” said Steel, who resigned her supervisors' seat on Saturday.

She considers her election proof that The American Dream is still achievable for anyone, including immigrants. In the days before being sworn in, Steel says she got emotional walking by the Capitol.

“I came here, [to] this country when I was 19. And now I’m working here in this building,” she said. “I was almost crying.”