Los Angeles County’s dramatic increase in COVID-19 infections continued on Monday, December 20, with more than 3,200 new cases reported, as well as seven more deaths and 60 new cases of the fast-spreading Omicron variant.
According to the county department of public health, the numbers are likely under-reporting due to general weekend information delays.
The county reported 3,258 new COVID infections on Monday, taking the number above 3,000 for the fourth day in a row. Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 1,567,133 cases have been confirmed in the county.
The seven new deaths reported on Monday raised the county’s cumulative death toll to 27,448.
Los Angeles County hospitals had 741 COVID-positive patients as of Monday, down from 743 on Sunday, according to state data. Of those patients, 172 were being treated in intensive care, down from 180 the day before.
The 60 new confirmed Omicron cases marked a major jump in the county’s total, reflecting the trend being seen across the country. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Monday that omicrons – which were first detected in South Africa and have rapidly spread globally – are now responsible for 73% of COVID infections nationwide. Have an estimate.
The county’s Department of Public Health reported Monday that COVID outbreaks increased dramatically in nearly all areas during the week ending Friday – with an 118% jump in the education sector, 83% in mass housing facilities and workplaces. And churches comprise 24%.
However, outbreaks at skilled nursing facilities have actually declined by 11%, a statistic that the county has attributed to higher rates of booster shots among staff and residents. According to the county, 84% of eligible nursing facility residents in the county have received booster shots, and 50% are eligible workers.
“Evidence is mounting that for people who were vaccinated months ago, boosters are necessary to provide the best protection against infection and transmission of the Omicron variant,” County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “Vaccination also continues to provide excellent protection from the delta variant. Widespread uptake of booster shots in skilled nursing facilities – as a result of early efforts to get booster doses to these highly vulnerable individuals as soon as they become available – has prevented outbreaks in these settings. Keeping the numbers down has helped.
“This aligns with other information gathered from across the country demonstrating the power of the booster, and shows the importance of promoting as soon as possible once eligible,” she said. “Given the increasing number of cases, the high rate of community transmission and all the evidence that, over time, our immune system needs to be boosted to be able to attack the COVID virus, any eligible should receive their booster dose. Don’t delay doing it.”
According to county data, as of December 12, 77.6% of eligible county residents aged 5 and older had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 69% were fully vaccinated.
More than 1.8 million booster doses have been administered in the county.
Ferrer said last week that there is no evidence that the Omicron variant causes more severe symptoms than the previous versions, but it is more permeable than other variants and will be more widely circulated in the county — special Apparently with the upcoming holiday trip.