LOS ANGELES, CA, Jan 7 – As cases soared today to the highest level since the start of the pandemic, those vaccinated and boosted continue to be protected from infections and severe illness. Vaccinated and boosted individuals were almost 4 times less likely to get infected and 38 times less likely to be hospitalized than those who were unvaccinated. With teens 12 and older newly approved to get boosted, there are almost 3 million residents in LA County eligible to add this critically important layer of protection.
Although COVID hospitalizations have been rising rapidly, many of the COVID positive patients hospitalized are seeking care for a non-COVID health issue. Data analyzed by Public Health showed that while back in early November, 75% of hospitalized patients who tested positive for COVID were hospitalized for medical problems related to the COVID diagnosis, the percentage of people hospitalized forCOVID illness has declined now to 45%, meaning that more than half of COVID-positive hospitalized patients are in the hospital for non-COVID related illness. And while COVID-positive patients do represent a substantial strain on the healthcare system regardless of the reason for their hospital admission, there are likely to be less COVID positive patients requiring ICU care and ventilators than last winter.
“I send my heartfelt condolences to everyone mourning the loss of a loved one due to COVID-19,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “With thousands of newly infected people each day, we recognize the numerous new challenges we are all facing. Many services are strained, as workers are ill or quarantining, families are facing major disruptions trying to care for those infected or quarantining, and for countless residents, it is hard to get tested and to sort through the changing guidance. It will take a lot of effort to get through these hardships and we will need to do our best to stay safe. Please stay home if you are sick; don’t call 911 or go to an emergency room unless you have a true medical emergency; comply with isolation and quarantine rules to avoid spreading Omicron to others and reduce your own risk of transmitting or getting infected by curtailing non-essential activities where there will be large crowds.”
Today, Public Health confirmed 30 additional deaths and 37,215 new cases of COVID-19. Of the 30 new deaths reported today, one person was between the ages of 18 and 29, four people were between the ages of 30 and 49, eight were between the ages of 50-64, six were between the ages of 65-79, and 11 were over the age of 80 years old. Of the 30 newly reported deaths, 21 had underlying conditions. To date, the total number of deaths in L.A. County is 27,728.
Public Health has identified a total 1,843,922 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County. Today’s positivity rate is 21.9%.
There are 2,661 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 10,194,300 individuals, with 17% of people testing positive.