There were 4,175 people with the coronavirus in county hospitals, according to the latest state figures posted Thursday morning, up from 3,912 the day prior.
The number of Los Angeles County people hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment rose to more then 4,000 on Thursday, Jan. 13, as the winter surge fueled by the highly transmissible omicron variant raged on unabated.
On Wednesday, county public health officials reported 40,452 new positive COVID tests and another 39 deaths associated with the coronavirus in its latest data, as the Omicron variant continues to spread across the county. The 39 fatalities are the highest number of new deaths since Sept. 22.
Of the 36 deaths for which the county had full data, 78% were among those 65 years of age and older. All deaths occurred in January, likely reflecting an increase in deaths associated with the higher December case and hospitalization numbers.
There were 4,175 people with the coronavirus in county hospitals, according to the latest state figures posted Thursday morning, up from 3,912 the day prior. Perhaps more alarming: the lead in patients in intensive care, which rose from 536 Wednesday to 586, a jump of nearly 10% in a single day. That’s an spike of more than 250 people in the last nine days, an increase of more than 40%.
The record number of new cases in recent days seems driven in part by a major increase in testing. On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom visited a testing site in south Los Angeles County to highlight his COVID-19 emergency response package. On Saturday, Newsom proposed $2.7 billion in new COVID spending as part of his next budget proposal, including a $1.4 billion emergency appropriation request to bolster testing capacity, accelerate vaccination and booster efforts, support frontline workers, strengthen the health care system and “battle misinformation.”
County Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer has urged residents to avoid dangerous activities in the coming weeks, particularly those that are indoors and involve mingling with unvaccinated or higher-risk people.
She also stressed that while the omicron variant is easily capable of infecting vaccinated people, the shots are still proving to be effective in preventing infected people from winding up hospitalized.
She said unvaccinated people are nine times more likely to be hospitalized than fully vaccinated people, and 38 times more likely to be hospitalized than people who are fully vaccinated and received a booster shot.
As more students and staff returned to in-person learning this week amid the surge in cases, routine testing at schools across many districts identified thousands of students and staff infected with COVID-19.