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L.A. County Records Highest Number of New COVID-19 Cases

Courtesy photo by Jakayla Toney on Unsplash

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) recorded the highest number of daily new cases Thursday (excluding days where case backlogs were included), confirming 29 new deaths and 5,031 new cases of COVID-19. Over the last two days, there have been a total of 8,975 new cases reported; a two-day average of nearly 4,500 daily new cases. If the number of new daily cases on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday remains the same, the county could institute a new stay-at-home order.

On Tuesday, If the five-day average of cases in the county becomes 4,000 or more or hospitalizations are more than 1,750 per day, outdoor and indoor dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars will be prohibited and these businesses will only be able to offer pick-up and delivery.

The county also announced that if the five-day average of cases in the county becomes 4,500 or more, or hospitalizations are more than 2,000 per day, a Safer at Home Order will be instituted for three weeks. The order would only allow essential workers and those securing essential services to leave their homes. A 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew would also be mandated, with essential workers exempt.

The county is experiencing a dangerous acceleration of cases that is increasing at a higher rate than the July surge. From June 20 through July 3, the seven-day average increase in new cases was 47%. From Oct. 28 through Nov. 10, the seven-day average increase in new cases is surging at 68%. 

There are 1,238 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 28% of these people are in the ICU. The daily number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has increased nearly every day since Nov. 2 when daily hospitalizations were 777.  

COVID-19 affects different systems in the body and can cause health effects that linger for months. COVID-19 often causes a pneumonia that can be serious. The type of pneumonia associated with COVID-19 can cause long-standing damage to the tiny air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs. The resulting scar tissue can lead to long-term breathing problems. 

Heart conditions are also associated with COVID-19 and include inflammation and damage to the heart muscle itself. Imaging tests taken months after recovery from COVID-19 patients have shown lasting damage to the heart muscle, even in people who experienced only mild COVID-19 symptoms. This may increase the risk of heart failure or other heart complications in the future.

“Right now, the kindest thing we can do for our family, friends and neighbors is to protect each other from potentially becoming infected with COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of Public Health. “As cases are surging and hospitalizations are increasing, we need to stay home as much as possible, protect those who are elderly or have underlying health conditions, and stop gathering with people not in our households.” 

Dr. Christina Ferrer, who oversees L.A. County hospitals, said Wednesday that the silver lining in all this is that “Dr. Christina Ferrer, who oversees L.A. County hospitals”

However, she warned that this current rise in cases is untenable. “If our case rates keep going up and our hospitalization rate is higher than July, there is no way we can keep up.”

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