“Alarming” increases in cases and hospitalizations
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) confirmed the highest number of deaths reported since Sept. 9. Officials confirmed 51 new deaths and 3,692 new cases of COVID-19.
In a statement, public health officials said COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to accelerate at an “alarming” speed. There are 1,575 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 26% of these people are in the ICU. Just two weeks ago, there were 888 people with COVID-19 hospitalized.
Officials worry that if the increases in cases and hospitalizations do not slow, it could overwhelm area hospitals and healthcare staff.
“Anytime a person removes their mask and interacts in close distance with others not in their household, even outdoors, they risk either infecting another person with COVID-19 or becoming infected themselves,” the department said. “The longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.”
Health officials again urged people to stay home as much as possible and limit going out to what is essential for the next two to three weeks.
“People mixing with others not in their household has driven the COVID-19 pandemic in L.A. County to dangerous levels,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of Public Health. “Because L.A. County reached a five-day average case rate over 4,500 new cases, Public Health is working with the Board of Supervisors on additional safety measures to reduce transmission of the virus. Public Health is recommending that gatherings only occur with members of your own household and occupancy at all sites be reduced to avoid crowding.”
Given the huge surge in cases nationwide, public health officials recommend that people not gather with differing household for Thanksgiving.