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LA County Smashes Another Record, Reports Nearly 44K New COVID Cases

A health worker dressed in blue protective gear administers a COVID-19 test to a man dressed in black inside a terminal at Los Angeles International airport.
A man receives a nasal swab COVID-19 test at Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport amid a coronavirus surge in Southern California on Dec. 22, 2020.
(Mario Tama
/
Getty Images)
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As the omicron-driven COVID-19 case surge continues, Los Angeles County reported even more cases Friday than ever before, with 43,712 new positives in just a day — up from more than 37,000 the day before.

All those coronavirus cases are also causing increasing pressure on the health care system. The people responsible for taking care of the new rush of patients are battling workforce shortages due to the virus spreading among their own ranks.

“I know so many are mourning the loss of a loved one and send my heartfelt condolences and wishes for healing,” L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “Keeping health care workers safe is critical to maintaining functionality across our health care facilities when surges lead to staffing shortages and rising rates of hospitalizations.”

The current positivity rate for COVID-19 in L.A. County is 20.9%. The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 rose to 2,902 on Friday.

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Skilled nursing facilities and hospitals have been the most greatly affected in this surge. Nurses make up 27% of those new cases. Among all health care workers, 39% reported being exposed to a known case in their facility from either a patient and/or co-worker.

There were 973 new health care worker cases reported between Dec. 30 and Jan. 6, joining a total of 50,353 health care workers and first responders who have had COVID-19 in L.A. County.

All health care workers are required to receive a booster dose, if they’re eligible, by Feb. 1, or to be tested for COVID-19 twice a week if they’re in acute health care or long-term care settings.

Ferrer noted that those who are vaccinated are between 10-30 times less likely to need hospital care than the unvaccinated. There were also 28 additional deaths reported Friday.

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What questions do you have about the coronavirus and/or how it’s affecting your life in Southern California?