As COVID-19 cases continue their steep increase amid a winter surge and the emergence of the Omicron variant, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials reports nearly 10,000 cases Friday.
The county’s daily case rate has continued its progressive increase this week, nearly tripling the figures reported last Friday and nearly nine times the 1,123 cases reported on Dec. 13.
The news comes as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported an additional COVID-19 death Friday, bringing the hospital’s total to 191 since the onset of the pandemic, according to spokesman Patrick Moody.
Hospitalizations and deaths have remained relatively stable through the climb in cases, however, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer noted during a Wednesday media briefing that both are known to be lagging indicators, as most patients don’t experience severe illness until a few days after testing positive.
“The staggeringly fast rise and a health care system strain that has followed similarly steep increases elsewhere in the world is the cause of our alarm,” Ferrer said Wednesday. “As we know from our past, as planned efforts don’t succeed in keeping the hospitals stable, we will need to institute additional community mitigation measures where appropriate.”
Moreover, Public Health continues to emphasize the importance of getting vaccinated and boosted, which is effective at preventing hospitalization and death, as well as wearing masks and getting tested.
However, across the Santa Clarita Valley and well into L.A. County, many drug stores were reportedly sold out of at-home rapid COVID-19 tests, while long lines could be seen at drive-thru testing sites through the week leading up to the Christmas holiday.
Public Health officials also released the following updated COVID-19 statistics Friday:
Countywide COVID-19 cases reported in the past 24 hours: 9,988
Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 1,595,239
New deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours: 21
Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 27,533
Hospitalizations countywide: 801
Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Dec. 24: 19, with 1,702 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.
COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 271, 210 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita.
Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 40,991
Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV as of Dec. 23: 372
Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the city of Santa Clarita as of Dec. 19: 78.2%*
Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the SCV as of Dec. 19: 74.7%*
*These figures now include all eligible Los Angeles County residents ages 5 and older.