LA's COVID Case Numbers Are Finally Starting To Decrease, But Officials Say Surge Isn't Over Yet
The number of new COVID-19 cases appears to be dropping in L.A. County, but officials warn that it's too soon to tell if that trend will hold.
The county reported another 262 deaths today, along with more than 6,400 confirmed cases, a considerably lower number than what's been reported on most days since the winter surge began in November.
County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer says today's case count is likely much lower due to reporting lags from the recent New Year's and Martin Luther King Jr. holidays, and the conversion of the Dodger Stadium parking lot from a testing site to a mass vaccination site, which temporarily reduced the county's overall testing capacity:
"We are very hopeful that the actions taken by many are starting to work" Ferrer said. "Unfortunately, even if cases are beginning to decline, these numbers are still really high. And they're going to continue to drive overcrowding at hospitals, and a high number of deaths."
Meanwhile, a new report from the county's Department of Health and Human Services found that COVID patients are staying in the hospital longer, and are more likely to die from the virus. Between September and November, patients had a one-in-eight chance of dying; but between November to now, that chance has increased to about one-in-four.
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE NUMBERS: