LA County Covid-19 Deaths Top 10,000; Southland Stay-at-Home Order Extended

Los Angeles County reached a grim milestone this week, reporting it surpassed 10,000 confirmed Covid-19 deaths, as its ICU capacity dropped to 0%.

Yesterday, the state reported another 30,921 new cases of the virus and the deaths of 432 Californians, marking the highest number of fatalities in one day since the pandemic began.

In addition, California extended its stay-at-home order for two regions - Southern California and San Joaquin Valley - as hospitals are running out of ICU beds, treating patients in hallways and elsewhere. The order will continue "until the ICU projections are above or equal to 15%," said the state's Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly.

The order requires bars, wineries, personal services, hair salons and barbershops to temporarily close. Personal services are businesses like nail salons, tattoo parlors and body waxing, according to the state officials. The order also bans gatherings of any size and requires "100% masking and physical distancing."

On Wednesday, the county reported 274 new deaths, the highest total recorded in the past 10 months, and 10,392 new coronavirus cases. In addition, Public Health has confirmed that 7415 people with Covid-19 are currently hospitalized and 20% of them are in the ICU. This is an increase of more than 500 people reported in the last two days.

As of press time, Covid-19 cases in Culver City shot up to 1213, a 130% increase over the past 5 weeks. Coronavirus-related deaths also climbed to 39 locally. According to the County Health Department, 35 cases and 6 deaths were reported at Studio Royale Retirement Home, 14 cases and 1 death at Palm Court, 67 cases and 14 deaths at Marina Pointe Healthcare and Subacute, and 5 cases and 1 death at Anchor Retirement Homes.

County-wide, the total infected with coronavirus stands at 756,116 with 10,056 deaths – a tragic milestone, public health officials said.

"Suffering followed by more suffering continue as too many residents and businesses behave as if we are not living in the most dangerous time of the most devastating pandemic," said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. "Our healthcare workers are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients and this current path of surging COVID-19 hospitalizations is not sustainable. Even if you believe your life isn't at risk, actions that defy public health guidance certainly put other lives in danger. We are each other's keepers."

Ferrer urges residents to stay home and celebrate New Year's Eve "with only your household or to connect virtually with other family members and friends. Make ending this deadly surge part of your New Year's resolution."

Meanwhile, California has reported that 261,672 residents were vaccinated in the past 3 weeks. Among them were Culver City Fire Chief Ken Powell and members of his Fire Department who received their shots at Southern California Hospital in Culver City.

The County's daily test positivity rate has also shot up dramatically, health officials reported. Over the past month, the test positivity rate has increased 3-fold, from around 3.5% to just over 15% yesterday.


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