The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health recognized the two-year anniversary of the first county case of COVID-19 on Wednesday, while also reporting 20,866 new positive cases and 91 new deaths in a single day.
One of the deaths being reported included a 15-month-old child, who is the youngest resident to die since the first case was diagnosed on Jan. 26, 2020.
Public Health announced that since the week ending Sunday, schools conducted 555,879 tests and confirmed 40,694 positive tests, with a test positivity of 7%. This is a 33% decrease from the prior week, when test positivity was 11%.
“Despite declines in cases, the number of school outbreaks increased, reflecting the highly infectious Omicron variant,” Public Health officials said in a statement. “Between Jan. 16-22, there were 11 new school outbreaks opened (nine in elementary schools, one in a high school, and one in youth sports).”
The total number of cases and deaths in Los Angeles County, since the onset of the pandemic, is now 2,560,768 and 28,630, respectively. A total of 4,534 people with COVID-19 are currently hospitalized.
“As we mark the two-year anniversary of the first case detected in L.A. County, I send my heartfelt condolences and wishes of healing to the family who suffered the devastating loss of their small child, and to the countless people who have lost a loved one to this pandemic,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of Public Health. “Prioritizing and ensuring safety at schools during a surge is only possible if all those at the school commit to complying fully with public health measures; this cannot be accomplished by staff alone.”
All COVID-19 services are free to L.A. County residents and can be accessed by anyone regardless of insurance or immigration status. To find a COVID-19 vaccine site near you, visit VaccinateLACounty.com, or to find a testing site, visit covid19.lacounty.gov/testing.
On Jan. 26 two years ago, before many of the local and state public health departments around the country knew the severity of the public health crisis that would unfold, and well before the availability of a vaccine and subsequent booster against the disease, The Signal published a report from the Centers for Disease Control that a returning traveler to L.A. County from Wuhan City, China, presented themselves for care once they noticed that they were not feeling well and had been confirmed to have this new strain of coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by the CDC.
“A significant number of resources across Los Angeles County are focused on protecting the public’s health at large,” Ferrer said at the time. “Currently the risk of local transmission is low, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
“Right now, we have a handful of patients with this 2019 novel coronavirus in the United States, but at this time, in the U.S. 2019 novel coronavirus is not spreading in our community,” Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said at the time. “For this reason, we continue to believe that the immediate health risk from the 2019 novel coronavirus to the general American public is low at this time, but the threat is serious and our public health response is aggressive with the aim of protecting the health of Americans.”
Four other cases had been diagnosed in the U.S. at the time of L.A. County’s first confirmed positive case, one each in Arizona, Washington and Chicago, along with a second California case in nearby Orange County. All victims had recently traveled to Wuhan.
Jan. 26, 2022
On Wednesday the L.A. County Department of Public Health reported the following numbers for the county, as well as the Santa Clarita Valley:
Countywide COVID-19 cases reported in the past 24 hours: 20,866
Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 2,560,768
New deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours: 91
Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 28,630
Hospitalizations countywide as of Jan. 26: 4,534
Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Jan. 26: 73, with 1,993 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.
COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 495, 366 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita
Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 66,251
Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV as of Jan. 25: 389