9,000 COVID-19 deaths in LA County, 23,000 in California

Los Angeles County reported its deadliest day in the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday – and officials warn that the death toll will only continue to rise, unless residents take steps to contain the rampant increase.

The additional 145 deaths, which exceeded the previous daily high of 134 announced a week ago, occurred the next day after the county officially reached another morbid milestone: exceeding the total of 9,000 coronavirus-related deaths.

Even before Wednesday’s record-breaking report, the county had an average of 85 COVID-19 deaths per day in the past week, a historic record.

In early November, the county averaged about 12 coronavirus-related deaths per day, according to Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer.

“This coronavirus has changed our lives, our daily routines, and huge sacrifices are needed as people deal with devastating financial losses,” she said during an interview on Wednesday. “However, for many in LA County, COVID-19 has resulted in untold interruptions and permanent losses.”

Public health officials are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Christmas and New Year. Many seeds of the current increase, they say, were planted by people who defied public health guidance against traveling and meeting people outside their homes on Thanksgiving Day.

If a large number of Californians do the same this time, warn the authorities, it is almost certain that there will be another increase.

“We are experiencing, we are experiencing, the increase over the Thanksgiving Day increase,” Governor Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday. “And, obviously, the most important message we can send today is to do everything in our power to mitigate the spread and transfer of this virus during this very vulnerable period of time, because this virus loves social events. This virus thrives in that atmosphere. “

More than 23,000 Californians have died of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, a milestone reached on Tuesday. In the past 14 days, more than 3,000 died – an impressive number that accounts for 13% of the total 23,303 deaths in the state.

These numbers serve as a “sober and sober reminder of how deadly this disease is and how tragic the loss of all lives is,” according to Newsom.

“This disease remains deadly,” he said on Wednesday. “This pandemic remains deadly.”

On Tuesday, 375 deaths were reported across the state, according to a county-by-county count conducted by The Times, marking the second worst number of deaths in a single day, just below the record recorded on December 16, when 394 deaths were recorded.

Fresno County reported 89 deaths on Tuesday; previously, the highest number of fatalities reported in a single day was 28, which happened on December 11. Fresno County is now reporting nearly 2,000 new cases of coronavirus a day last week, almost seven times worse than the comparable number for Thanksgiving Day.

Fresno County now has an average of 13 deaths per day from COVID-19 over the past seven days; the comparable number for Thanksgiving Day was two deaths a day.

The rapid increase in the number of deaths is the most terrible, but not the only, impact of COVID-19 violence throughout LA County and the state.

Infections have soared in recent weeks, pushing unprecedented numbers of patients to California hospitals.

On Tuesday, the most recent day for which complete data is available, there was a record number of statewide admissions for COVID-19 – 18,448 – and intensive care patients – 3,827.

In LA County, where 10 million people live, a one-time survey found that there were 30 ICU beds available by 9 am on Sunday. A similar count last week found 69.

“Today, we have more than 100% of our normal patient volume, and of that volume, 52% of our inpatients are patients diagnosed with COVID,” said Greg Adams, president and chief executive of Kaiser Permanente, on Tuesday. market. “Sixteen of our 36 hospitals are already above 100% occupancy in our ICUs. We are struggling to add capacity for COVID patients at this time. “

Hospitals are already having to take steps to ensure that the sickest patients receive the highest level of care possible. This includes moving some patients who would normally be in the ICU to other areas of the hospital, such as a recovery area, or keeping them in the emergency room for longer than normal.