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LA County Reports 27K New COVID Cases, Transmission Described As 'Explosive' By Health Director

A white sign with black letters says "face coverings required" with an illustration of a person wearing a mask.
A sign is posted about required face coverings in Grand Central Market in July of this year. A new mask mandate went into effect amid a troubling rise in COVID-19 cases.
(Mario Tama
Getty Images)
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A staggering 27,091 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Los Angeles County on Friday.

The troubling number comes just one dayafter the county reported more than 20,000 new cases, one of the highest single-day totals of the pandemic up until that point.

"With explosive transmission likely to continue for some weeks to come, all efforts now need to focus on protecting our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed," read a statement from L.A.County Director of Public Health, Barbara Ferrer. "Since most people in our hospitals with serious illness from COVID are unvaccinated, those not yet vaccinated or boosted need to please stay away from others as much as possible to avoid getting infected or infecting others."

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Friday also saw an increase in COVID-induced hospitalizations, with 1,365 reported compared to Thursday's 1,251. Twelve deaths were also reported Friday.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health has reported nearly 1.7 million COVID cases and 27,637 deaths.

With cases nearly doubling in two days and one-in-four people testing positive, the department is urging residents to reduce their risk of bolstering the spread by not hosting or attending any large gatherings over the holiday weekend.

Cases have tripled in the past week. On Christmas Eve, just shy of 9,000 cases were reported. The rapid increase is being attributed to the spread of the newest COVID-19 variant, omicron, which is considered to be far more contagious than previous iterations of the virus.