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LA County Hospitalizations Could Top 4,000 Within Two Weeks

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Screenshot courtesy L.A. County via YouTube
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After breaking its single-day record for new coronavirus cases multiple times over the past week, Los Angeles County today is reporting another big jump of just over 8,000 new cases, along with 27 additional deaths.

And as the dramatic surge in cases continues, nearly 3,000 people infected with the virus are now hospitalized, more than at any other point since the beginning of the pandemic. Nearly a quarter of those patients are in intensive care units.

County public health director Barbara Ferrer called it an "alarming" increase that will have a tremendous impact on the region's entire health care system:

"What this will mean for hospitalizations and for deaths is frightening. It's very possible that within two weeks, or even less, we could see the daily number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 at or over 4,000 patients."

Ferrer says that about 1 in 10 county residents who contract COVID-19 end up needing hospital care, so if the current trend continues, we could see an average of 65 or more people dying every day.
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Ferrer said we are likely seeing a bump in cases from the Thanksgiving holiday, but she cited other reasons for the surge, including small and large gatherings both in public and at private homes, unsafe work environments, and more time routinely spent mingling with people from different households.

Only about 59% of businesses visited last week by inspectors were in compliance with all coronavirus protocols, Ferrer said.

"We don't have to actually just say, 'This is inevitable. We're going to see an overwhelmed health care system.' We don't have an overwhelmed health care system today. We have time, but very little, to get ourselves to a place where that will not be the case in L.A. County, but it would take every single one of us working hard together to get that to happen."

LA COUNTY BY THE NUMBERS
  • 27 new deaths
  • 7,936 total deaths
  • 8,086 new cases
  • 457,880 total cases
  • 2,988 currently hospitalized: 24% in ICU and 15% on ventilators
  • 10.9% overall ICU capacity for Southern California (the state's stay-at-home order kicks in at less than 15%)
  • 3.9 million tests to date with an 11% positivity rate

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 Sunday, Dec. 6:

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