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LA County Surpasses 9,000 COVID-19 Deaths, Officials Urge People To Forgo Holiday Travel

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Tuesday reported 12,954 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and 88 deaths, bringing countywide totals to 647,542 cases and 9,016 deaths.

Travel Increases Ahead Of Christmas Holiday
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 22: Travelers wait in line to check in for a flight at the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) amid a COVID-19 surge in Southern California on December 22, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. TSA agents screened over 1 million people for three consecutive days last Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the beginning of the traditional holiday travel season, for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

"Unfortunately, today marks another tragic milestone as we acknowledge and grieve the more than 9,000 residents that have passed away from COVID-19," Dr. Barbara Ferrer, public health director, said. "Our actions have an impact on the health and well-being of many people in our county, and not following the public health rules has deadly consequences."

In just two weeks, the county has recorded more than 1,000 COVID-19 deaths — an average of 73 deaths per day for 14 days.

Of the newly reported deaths, 31 people who died were over the age of 80, 31 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, 17 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 and five people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49. Sixty-one people who died had underlying health conditions.

Health officials said there were 5,866 people with COVID-19 hospitalized Tuesday, 20% of whom were being treated in intensive care units. In the past two weeks, hospitalizations have increased by more than 2,700 patients.

Officials also urged residents to continue to follow local health orders to stay home and not gather with people, since many people infected with COVID-19 are asymptomatic and can unknowingly spread the virus to others — including those who have an increased risk for serious illness and death.

"This is not the time to crowd at stores, to attend parties and gatherings, or to travel," Ferrer said. "If every person can find it in themselves to celebrate the meaning of the holidays by protecting each other from the virus, we have a chance to stop the surge."

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