LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles Department of Public Health's daily COVID-19 report was released on Friday afternoon, indicating that hospitalizations continue to climb as the country is gripped by the Omicron variant fueled winter surge of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Friday marks the second-consecutive day where hospitalization totals eclipsed 4,000, up nearly 100 from Thursday - 4,175 to 4,257, respectively. These are the highest reported numbers since February 2021.
Nearly 600 of those patients are currently in intensive care, totaling almost 25% of the ICU patients in the county alone. The report noted that this is a number almost 5% greater than that of the summer Delta surge in 2021, when ICU patients with COVID-19 equaled 20%.
For the fourth day in the span of a week, the county has reported totals over the 40,000 mark, with 40,535 on Friday. This is nearly 5,000 less than Thursday's report of 45,076 - which is the second-highest reported total since the beginning of the pandemic.
80% of ICU beds were occupied as of Friday evening, according to L.A. County.
An additional 48 deaths were also reported, marking the second-straight day with at least 45 deaths, again, the highest totals since February 2021.
In response to the continually rising numbers shown in reports on a daily basis, Los Angeles County Public Health Director continued to maintain effort from the public to help lessen the rising case totals, noting that health care personnel are feeling an immense strain in the face of the latest surge, which "can be alleviated by reducing the transmission of the virus so that less people are seeking medical care," she said.
In order to do so, she urges the public to exhibit caution when attending indoor events, and to reconsider attending larger events, especially with the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant. She also advises that Angelenos take all the necessary precautions and make "strategic decisions to minimize community transmission," including upgrading their mask material from cloth masks or face coverings to surgical quality masks like N95, KF94 or KN95, as "wearing a high grade and well-fitting mask will block COVID virus particles," she said.
Ferrer also urged that people continue getting vaccinated or boosted when eligible, nothing that, "given that unvaccinated people are between two and four times more likely to get infected than those vaccinated, getting vaccinated and boosted will lead to less spread."
In other local regions, Orange County, despite indicating on Thursday that hospitalization rates appear to be stabilizing, also reported an increase in both case numbers and hospitalized patients on Friday.
(© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)
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