Los Angeles County Public Health officials reported there have now been more than 2 million total cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic after breaking records for positive cases in 72 hours.
The current surge of COVID-19 cases as of Monday has topped 3,400 hospitalizations, the highest level since Feb.11, 2021, according to the Public Health Department.
In a news release shared on their website and social media, Department of Public Health officials said that L.A. County reported 34,448 new cases on Saturday, 45,584 on Sunday and 43,582 on Monday.
Additionally, health officials have identified a positivity rate of 21.4% for all L.A. County residents tested.
In the Santa Clarita Valley, 2,249 new cases were reported in the past 72 hours, with three deaths reported, bringing the death toll in the SCV to 378.
Officials said in a statement released Monday “that many positive cases are admitted for reasons other than COVID, but are identified with COVID when tested for COVID upon hospital admission.”
L.A. County health officials refer to these hospitalizations as incidental COVID hospitalizations, with 55% of hospitalized patients falling into this category.
Around 14% of COVID-positive patients are in intensive care units, and 7% are on ventilators. Additionally, nearly a quarter of ICU beds are occupied by COVID-positive individuals.
“With the surging transmission and rapidly rising cases and hospitalizations, our already understaffed health care providers are under enormous strain as they try to care for so many COVID-infected people, including those with mild illness who are looking for help and support, with the unintended consequence of compromising response capacity across the entire system,” officials said in a statement released Monday.
High community transmission increases the demand for health care services and affects the capacity to care for individuals.
“While it is true that Omicron is much more infectious than previous COVID strains, there are many effective strategies available for reducing transmission risks over the next few weeks,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. “At the top of the list is avoiding hazardous activities where people are unmasked and in close contact with others.”
Ferrer added gatherings should also be postponed for a few weeks — especially if there are not fully vaccinated participants — and upgrading masks to those that provide a better barrier against virus particles.
Health officials advise residents they’re legally required to be isolated if they have a positive COVID test result; vaccinated close contacts with symptoms and unvaccinated close contacts need to be quarantined.
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.
Public Health officials also released the following updated COVID-19 statistics Monday:
Countywide COVID-19 cases reported in the past 24 hours: 43,582
Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 2,010,964
New deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours: 13
Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 27,798
Hospitalizations countywide: 3,400
Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Jan. 10: 78, with 1,790 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.
COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 675, 505 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita.
Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 52,689
Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV as of Jan. 6: 378
Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the city of Santa Clarita as of Jan. 6: 79.6%
Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the SCV as of Dec. 23: 75.1%
To find a COVID-19 vaccine site near you, visit VaccinateLACounty.com, or to find a testing site, visit covid19.lacounty.gov/testing.