Los Angeles County health officials confirmed 3,780 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, the highest number of infections recorded in a single day since the extremely worrying increase in July.
The infection rate has risen steadily since Halloween, reflecting an alarming trend seen on a worse scale in California and several other parts of the U.S. The death rate has not seen the same sharp rise, something health officials have attributed to advances in medication and drug treatments for the virus in the few months. Past.
On Saturday, the Public Health Department confirmed 20 deaths, bringing the total death toll to 7,266. Throughout the pandemic, 336,549 injuries were recorded in Los Angeles County.
As the most populous county in the United States, Los Angeles has fared worse than most of the rest of the state, reporting a disproportionately large number of cases and deaths early in the pandemic. But this month marks the worst increase from mid-July through August, when some days saw more than 2,000 people in hospitals receive life-saving treatment for the respiratory virus.
Health officials attributed the high number of infections and deaths after July 4 to the celebrations and gatherings held to mark the holiday, as the virus spread among people. Cases have since been declining overall – until this month. The number of hospitalizations also increased in November.
On Thursday, County Health Director Barbara Ferrer described the recent rise in newly recorded daily cases as a “consistent and significant” increase, telling residents “We all need to act now.”
“If we collectively fail to stop accelerating cases, we will have no choice but to consider additional measures,” Ferrer said, without specifying the types of restrictions the county might consider.
On Thursday, as the number of coronavirus cases in California surpassed 1 million, health officials warned that all Los Angeles County schools and campuses could face severe closures if conditions do not improve. Until now, 150 cases between faculty members and students Outbreaks have been reported in 12 schools.
Currently, 966 people are hospitalized due to the virus, and about 28% of them are being treated in the intensive care unit, according to health officials. The Ministry of Public Health confirmed that the number of hospitalizations confirmed on Saturday was the highest in nearly two months.
In a written statement, the health agency attributed the high prevalence of the virus to young people – noting that 74% of cases on Saturday involved patients under the age of 50. Meanwhile, 90% of the deaths recorded on Saturday were of people over the age of 50. .
“Young people continue to drive the increase in community transmission in the district,” the statement said. “The rise in cases complicates planning to increase the number of students returning to schools, reopening additional sectors and allowing additional activities.”
Los Angeles County is still in the most restrictive phase of its California reopening plan – the Purple Tier. During this stage, restaurants, cinemas, and many other companies are prohibited from hosting customers at home because the virus is considered “widespread,” according to state guidelines.
San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties also remain at the purple level while Orange and Ventura counties have managed to move into the more restricted red tier. Companies including restaurants and gyms are permitted to open their doors indoors at this point with some restrictions.
While young people make up the most new infections, health officials note that people between the ages of 30 and 49 make up the highest proportion of new cases: 34%. People between the ages of 18 and 29 make up only 27% of all new cases.
The upcoming Thanksgiving holiday has put health officials on high alert since the worst increase in cases after Memorial Day and July 4. Now, the latest rally has surfaced less than a month after officials warned of Halloween events that could serve as so-called “super publishers”.
Ferrer said Los Angeles County residents should avoid traveling and gathering with more than two other families during Thanksgiving to prevent the spread of the virus. People traveling outside of the state are advised to quarantine for a period of 14 days.
During gatherings, health officials recommend maintaining a six-foot distance with people from other families at all times, wearing face coverings and washing hands frequently. They also recommend gathering outdoors only for less than two hours at a time.
Ferrer said recent outbreaks at local work sites and the spread of the virus among family members and families have also contributed to the recent spike. But in the Health Ministry’s statement released on Saturday, it said that younger adults were also to blame.
Ferrer said in the statement: “Many young people go out to socialize with individuals from outside the home, which raises concerns that young people who do not show symptoms are helping the virus spread to the most vulnerable people at a time when cases are dangerously high in the district.”