LOS ANGELES – After a month of steady growth, the number of COVID-19-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals declined slightly on Friday, January 21, but the number of those treated in intensive care rose again and another 65 Virus-related deaths were reported.
According to state data, there were 4,792 COVID positive patients in county hospitals as of Friday, up from 4,814 on Thursday. The number of those patients in ICU increased to 740 from 723 a day earlier.
The 65 deaths recorded on Friday decreased sharply from the 102 announced on Thursday, but are still significantly higher as daily totals in recent weeks. Deaths are considered to be a backward indicator, meaning they usually occur in the weeks following hospitalization.
On the front lines, doctors are starting to report that the number of patients has plummeted—a sign, they hope, that the winter surge induced by Omicron may actually happen as early as this month.
“We are seeing a decrease in the number of mass hospitalizations at Providence hospitals in Southern California over the past week,” said Dr. Rex Hoffman, chief medical officer of Providence Holy Cross in Mission Hills. “It’s good to finally see that hopefully we’re turning that tide a little bit.”
The daily number can also include deaths that occurred days or weeks ago, but were only recently tabulated or confirmed as COVID-related.
The county’s total virus death toll during the pandemic rose to 28,346.
Public health officials indicated this week that the death toll could remain high as the disease once again disproportionately affects communities of color, due to inequalities in health care. Suffers from disease for a long time. Still, Ferrer and others found signs of hope that those at the front end – the initial infection – may be declining in numbers and possibly on the downside.
Another 43,091 new COVID cases were reported on Friday, taking the county’s pandemic total to 2,428,744. The rolling daily average rate of people testing positive for the virus generally held steady at 17.8%.
County health officials again called for more people to be vaccinated, saying that unvaccinated people were twice as likely to contract the virus as those who were fully vaccinated, and those who were not fully vaccinated. four times more likely to receive a booster shot. According to the county, vaccinated people are 20 times more likely to be hospitalized than those who have been vaccinated and outnumbered.
County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement, “Since the start of the pandemic, we have recognized that while many people experience mild illness from COVID, there are others who may become infected when they become infected. won’t do well.” “Preliminary estimates from USC scientists estimate that if all eligible people were vaccinated, there would have been 85% fewer cases in the past six weeks, of which 604,000 cases were prevented, and 87% fewer hospitalizations in nearly 9,300 hospitals. prevented from happening.
“These estimates align with much of the data we share weekly about the devastating consequences many infected, uninfected individuals face,” she said. “Massive vaccine adoption could change the trajectory of an epidemic with significant case and hospitalization reductions.”
According to the county, 81% of eligible county residents aged 5 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 72% are fully vaccinated. Only 31% are fully vaccinated with a booster shot. Of the county’s total 10.3 million population, 76% have received a single dose, 68% have been fully vaccinated, and 29% have been vaccinated and extended.
Ferrer noted on Thursday that nearly half of the COVID-positive patients in county hospitals were actually admitted for reasons other than COVID, and only discovered that they were infected when admitted to the hospital. Were. But Ferrer said that even if a patient is admitted for a reason other than COVID, a virus-positive patient still requires more “resource-intensive precautions,” resulting in fewer staffing. Hospitals are under pressure.
City News Service contributed to this report.