Amid a dramatic surge in COVID-19 infections, Los Angeles County’s public well being director has urged residents to keep away from non-essential actions within the coming weeks, notably these which might be indoors and contain mingling with unvaccinated or higher-risk folks.
Fueled by the omicron variant of COVID-19, the county is experiencing pandemic-high ranges of day by day an infection experiences and the best charge of virus transmission to this point. The county on Tuesday reported 34,827 new infections, together with 15 extra deaths.
“Whereas we’re within the surge, we do ask that you simply train extra warning, even should you’re vaccinated and boosted,” Public Well being Director Barbara Ferrer stated throughout Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors assembly. “One technique to scale back transmission is to put on a high-quality masks everytime you’re round non-household members…. We’re additionally asking that over the subsequent few weeks, all of us attempt to keep away from non-essential actions the place individuals are unmasked and in shut contact with others.”
“We all know how necessary getting along with buddies is to our well-being,” she stated. “We must be certain we’re capable of maintain one another secure. The fact is that events and occasions — particularly these indoors with unvaccinated people or these at excessive danger for extreme sickness — make it very straightforward for this virus to unfold. Limiting our time with others to these extra important work-related or school-related actions is a prudent motion for everybody to take at any time when attainable.”
“I do know this isn’t the begin to the brand new 12 months we had all envisioned. With the extra instruments we have now, notably easy accessibility to free vaccine, we ought to have the ability to use totally different methods to get us by way of these difficult instances. As all the time although, it takes the cooperation of all of us to maneuver ahead with grace and get by way of this surge.”
Her feedback got here as state figures confirmed the variety of COVID-positive sufferers in county hospitals rising to three,766, up from 3,472 on Monday. The variety of these sufferers in intensive care rose to 513, up from 482 a day earlier.
Dr. Christina Ghaly, the county’s well being companies director, stated that regardless of rising affected person numbers, the Omicron-fueled surge is enjoying out in a different way in hospitals than earlier surges. She stated final fall, about one-third of COVID sufferers wound up in ICU care, however that quantity is just about 10% to fifteen% this time round, no less than within the 4 county-operated hospitals, which seemingly replicate situations in different medical facilities.
She additionally stated that about 40% of COVID-positive sufferers on the county hospitals have been admitted particularly due to the virus, whereas the remaining solely realized they have been contaminated upon admission for one thing else. Over the last surge, 80% to 90% of the COVID sufferers have been admitted resulting from virus-related sickness.
Workers shortages pressured hospitals to cancel or postpone elective surgical procedures. Gordon Tokumatsu experiences Jan. 11, 2022.
Ghaly stated that regardless of the adjustments and numbers that also dwarf final winter’s surge — when greater than 8,000 COVID sufferers have been hospitalized — present staffing shortages are creating extra essential situations at hospitals.
She pointed to massive variety of healthcare staff who’ve retired or moved
into non-front-line positions. She additionally famous that the surge in COVID infections has additionally impacted healthcare staff, leaving many unavailable to work resulting from sickness or publicity.
The scenario has additionally led to longer ambulance response instances, partly resulting from massive numbers of staff at personal ambulance corporations who’ve failed to satisfy COVID vaccination necessities, leaving them unable to work, mixed with a excessive quantity of individuals calling in sick.
The time it takes for ambulance crews to off-load sufferers at hospitals has additionally risen, she stated, due to staffing and area points. Ghaly stated three space hospitals — Mission Group Hospital in Panorama Metropolis, Little Firm of Mary in San Pedro and Antelope Valley Hospital — have all established surge models to assist deal with the rise in sufferers.
Ferrer once more harassed that whereas the omicron variant is definitely able to infecting vaccinated folks, the pictures are nonetheless proving to be efficient in stopping contaminated folks from winding up hospitalized.
She stated unvaccinated individuals are 9 instances extra more likely to be hospitalized than totally vaccinated folks, and 38 instances extra more likely to be hospitalized than people who find themselves totally vaccinated and obtained a booster shot.
The 34,827 new COVID instances introduced Tuesday introduced the county’s cumulative whole to 2,046,208 for the reason that pandemic started. The 15 deaths gave the county an total loss of life toll of 27,812.
Well being officers have stated beforehand that about 90% of people that died from COVID-19 had underlying well being situations. Of the 13 deaths reported Monday, 9 had underlying situations, in keeping with the county Division of Public Well being.
The county’s rolling common charge of individuals testing optimistic for the virus was 21% as of Tuesday, down barely from 21.4% on Monday, and up from 20.6% Sunday and 20.9% Saturday. The speed was lower than 1% in November.
In keeping with county figures launched final week, of the greater than 6.4 million totally vaccinated folks within the county, 199,314 have examined optimistic for the virus, for a charge of three.1%, whereas 3,348 have been hospitalized, for a charge of 0.05%. A complete of 625 totally vaccinated folks have died, for a charge of 0.01%.
Ferrer stated Tuesday that as of Jan. 6, 80% of eligible county residents aged 5 and older have obtained no less than one dose of vaccine, whereas 71% are totally vaccinated. Of the county’s total inhabitants of 10.3 million folks, 76% have obtained no less than one dose, and 68% are totally vaccinated.