‘The worst is yet to come’ – LA County projects increased COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations

LOS ANGELES (KABC) – Once again, Los Angeles County is reporting devastating new numbers of deaths and hospitalizations for COVID-19, indicating that the post-Thanksgiving increase continues to worsen with the holiday.

The county reported 145 new deaths on Wednesday, the highest total in a day since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The county also reported 16,525 new cases of coronavirus, the largest number except for one day earlier this month, which included an accumulation of older cases.

Dr. Christina Ghaly, director of the county’s Department of Health Services, warned that hospitals are having extreme difficulty dealing with the increase in patients, affecting their ability to treat them, as well as handling unrelated surgeries and emergencies. coronavirus.
She said that cases will continue to rise after the holiday. Between November 1 and January 31, the department projects about 8,700 COVID-19 deaths.

“We have never seen daily mortality rates so high during the course of the pandemic and the model predicts that the worst is yet to come,” said Ghaly.

“How high these cases go and how overwhelmed our hospitals and healthcare professionals get – and how many people are going to die because of COVID, because COVID took all the air out of his lungs and the machines can no longer push him – it all depends of us, “said Ghaly.

As Christmas and New Year approached, county director of health, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, warned people to avoid gathering in groups and traveling outside the area.

But she acknowledged that many are likely to ignore these warnings. For those who travel outside the county and mingle with others, she asked them to be quarantined for 10 days when they return to prevent the virus from spreading to others.

The county has at least 6,155 patients with COVID-19 hospitalized, although the state estimates the number at 6,499.

“This coronavirus has changed our lives, our daily routines,” said Ferrer. “Huge sacrifices are needed as people deal with devastating financial losses.”

Other details of Wednesday’s briefing:

  • Total deaths in Los Angeles County: 9,016
  • Total cases since the beginning of the pandemic: 647,542
  • Current positivity rate: 14%
  • Daily average new admissions to hospitals: 750
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