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LA County Again Sets Record For COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Thursday set another grim record for newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Los Angeles Mayor Issues Order For Residents To Stay Home
Pedestrians wearing protective masks walk along a path at a park in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an order for residents to stay at home, warning that the city is approaching a devastating tipping point in its fight against Covid-19 that would overwhelm the hospital system. Photographer: David Swanson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The county announced 7,854 newly confirmed cases and 44 deaths, bringing countywide totals to 421,881 cases and 7,782 deaths. There were 2,572 coronavirus patients hospitalized, 23% of whom were being treated in intensive care units.

"This is a health crisis that requires everyone who isn't already to take and adhere to the personal actions that prevent you from getting or spreading the virus," Dr. Muntu Davis, county health officer, said. "I can't emphasize this enough. Everyone must take personal steps to protect themselves from getting and spreading this virus to others. Actions need to be taken now and on a daily basis. As the daily cases reported remain high, so does our risk from getting infected in the community."

Davis said that roughly half of the county's newly reported cases are believed to stem from asymptomatic patients who are passing along the virus.

"Until there is a vaccine that is widely available and widely accepted and we reach herd immunity by immunization, all of us must do our part to protect ourselves and all those around us," he said. "We're not asking you to live in fear. We're asking you to take the precautions needed to prevent the continued spread of this virus. If more of us take these steps, we stand a very good chance of seeing transmission rates decline."

County health officials warned Wednesday that the surge of COVID-19 cases could threaten the availability of beds in intensive care units by Christmas. On Thursday, Dr. Christina Ghaly, health services director, said the county is still maintaining adequate hospital space to handle current case loads.

And, despite the continued rise in cases, Ghaly said that the estimated transmission rate of the virus decreased over the past week from 1.26 to 1.14 with health officials estimating that one in every 200 residents are infections — down from one in every 145 last week.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)


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