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'We're In The Middle Of A Horrific Surge': LA Reports Highest Number Of COVID-19 Deaths In One Day

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — There were 145 new deaths from COVID-19 in Los Angeles County reported Wednesday, the highest one-day toll since the start of the pandemic.

LAX holiday travel
Travelers stand wearing PPE after arriving 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)

There were 16,525 cases of COVID-19 reported in the county Wednesday, along with 6,155 current hospitalizations, a daily record. The total cases in the county were 647,542.

Six people that died were between the ages of 30-49. One person, with underlying health conditions, died in the age range of 18-29.

"I am very worried today that there are thousands of L.A. residents whose actions are contributing to hospitalizations and deaths," said Los Angeles County Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer.

Many people have no symptoms and do not know they are carrying the virus, she added.

"It is highly likely that every time you leave your household, you will come into contact with someone infected," she said. "Right now it is time to double and triple our efforts to keep people safe."

Ferrer urged people to stay away from non-household members as much as possible, wear face masks, and social distance.

"As we weigh the requests to delay travel plans, we can take comfort in making these sacrifices because we are saving lives," said Ferrer.

More than 76 percent of Southern Californians plan to stay home during the holidays this year, according to the American Automobile Association, or AAA.

Ferrer added if you do travel, quarantine for at least 10 days to ensure that the virus is not transmitted to others.

Ferrer said as of Tuesday night, more than 38,850 frontline healthcare workers had been vaccinated with the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.

Tuesday and Wednesday, the county received an additional 116,600 Moderna doses.

The regional stay-at-home order from Governor Gavin Newsom for the 11-county Southern California region, which took effect at 11:59 p.m. Dec. 6, was originally set to end on Dec. 28.

Newsom announced this week the order would be extended past the original end date, though he did not give an indication of exactly how much longer the order would remain in place.

The Southern California region that falls under the stay-at-home order includes Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Imperial, Inyo, Mono, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Most broadly, the order bars gatherings of people from different households.

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