New COVID-19 Cases in Los Angeles County More than Double from Yesterday to 6,509 New Cases

LOS ANGELES, CA, Dec 22 – Today, Public Health confirmed 6,509 new cases, 162 additional Omicron cases, and 16 additional deaths of COVID-19. The increase in cases represents more than double yesterday’s case count. This steep increase, one of the steepest rises we have ever seen over the course of the pandemic, reflects the increased circulation of Omicron and the associated rapid acceleration of transmission associated with this variant.

Today’s positivity rate is 4.5%. One week ago, the test positivity rate was 1.9%.

Of the 16 new deaths reported today, two were between the ages of 50 and 64, eight were between the ages of 65-79 and three were over the age of 80 years old. Of the 16 newly reported deaths, eleven had underlying conditions.

To date, the total number of deaths in L.A. County is 27,488. Information on the two deaths reported by the City of Long Beach and the one death reported by the City of Pasadena is available at: and

Public Health has identified a total 1,576,702 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County.

There are 748 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 9,854,776 individuals, with 15% of people testing positive.

“We extend our deepest condolences and prayers to all who have lost neighbors, coworkers, friends, and family during this difficult time,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “These numbers make it crystal clear that we are heading into very challenging times over the winter holidays. If our case numbers continue to increase at a rapid pace over this next week, we could be looking at case numbers we have never seen before, well over 20,000 cases a day by the end of this year. Although hospitalizations and deaths remain relatively stable at this time, these are both known to be lagging indicators because most people don’t experience severe illness until a few days after testing positive. While many will be protected against the most severe illness from Omicron because they are fully vaccinated and boosted where eligible, very high case numbers can easily cause significant stress to the health care system if even a small percentage of those infected require hospital care.”

Public Health would like to remind residents that getting vaccinated & boosted, testing, and masking remain critical while in the surge.

Boosters help restore high-levels of COVID-19 protection, similar to the levels offered two weeks after the second dose. According to Public Health data, between December 5th-11th, fully vaccinated people with boosters were 20 times more protected from infection versus only 4 times more protected for fully vaccinated without boosters, as compared to unvaccinated people.

Testing is also critically important since it helps identify potential sources of transmission before they have contact with high-risk individuals. This week, with assistance from the California Department of Public Health, hundreds of thousands of over-the-counter testing kits will be distributed for vulnerable residents through service provider networks, daycare centers, and community partners. Public Health is encouraging residents to get tested before and after travel, if exposed or sick, and if gathering with people outside their home.

Masks are also very important as they provide a good physical barrier against the virus, and help prevent people from both getting infected, and from inadvertently spreading infection. Given that Omicron is spreading quickly, it’s also best to consider upgrading to a medical-grade, surgical, or KN95 mask when in close contact with others.

Public Health would also like to remind residents that staying home and away from others if you’re sick keeps everyone safe, including your loved ones and the essential workers who will continuing showing up for work throughout the holiday season.

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