As state officials closed in on 30,000 coronavirus deaths, Los Angeles County’s daily report slid below 200 fatalities for the first time in six days on Sunday, Jan. 10, as public officials hoped for a break in the as-yet uncontrolled post-holiday COVID surge.

The county Public Health Department reported 14,482 new cases of COVID-19 and 166 additional deaths on Sunday, bringing the county’s totals to 920,177 cases and 12,250 fatalities.

Meanwhile, state officials posted 468 deaths on Sunday, a day after setting a record one-day total of 695, according to the Department of Public Health. California’s death toll since the start of the pandemic rose to 29,701.

L.A. County is home to a fourth of California’s population, but it accounts for about 40% of the state’s COVID-19 deaths.

The number of county residents hospitalized with the coronavirus showed signs that it may be plateauing. The total — posted on the state health department’s website, which updates a day earlier than the county — slipped just a bit, to 7,910, on Sunday. That was a decrease of 54 patients from Saturday’s total, and a drop of 164 patients from Thursday. Though the decreases were relatively small, they provided a wisp of relief from weeks of record increases, which have left overtaxed hospital staffs near the breaking point.

County Health Services Director Dr. Christina Ghaly said last week that the numbers of new daily hospital admissions had begun to level off — but still at a high level, and patient discharges have not kept pace, leading to the growing hospital population. But she and other health officials warned that the admissions are anticipated to surge upward again as a result of increased gatherings during the winter holidays.

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“The scale of the tragedy associated with this pandemic is unfathomable,” Dr. Paul Simon, Public Health Department’s chief science officer told reporters last week. “The very high numbers … didn’t happen by accident. They’re a direct result of the many people who are not following the necessary precautions over the winter holiday — not wearing face coverings, not limiting contact with those outside their households, not physically distancing when outside the home and not refraining from traveling.”

Figures released late last week showed a new daily caseload of nearly 20,000 — significantly above the average of about 14,000 new cases a day over the previous week. Experts will keep a close watch on the figure this week, hoping to see it inch downward.

Of the total hospitalizations, 1,712 were in intensive care. Statewide, hospitalizations have risen to nearly 22,000, and state models project that number could reach 30,000 by Feb 1.

According to the state’s front-and-center metric index, the 11-county Southern California Region continues to be at 0% ICU availability — though that doesn’t necessarily mean that all intensive-care beds are all filled. The state Department of Public Health’s indicator, “current ICU capacity by region,” takes the actual percentage of remaining adult ICU beds each day and tweaks it to reflect the lopsided share of COVID-19 patients in intensive care compared to others who …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

      

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