Los Angeles County has overtaken 1 million COVID-19 cases since the onset of the epidemic this weekend and reported the first case of its more contagious version, which was initially discovered in the United Kingdom last year.
On Saturday, the county recorded more than 14,000 cases and some 253 deaths and 7,597 hospitalizations, the country’s public health show.
The figures push Los Angeles into the nation’s top county in terms of COVID-19 cases, higher than the next two counties, Cook and Maricopa.
Although California has been one of the strictest states in the country to implement sanctions, cases have seen an uptick in the past two weeks, with on average more than 41,000 new coronovirus cases occurring each day.
While California has the second highest number of deaths in the country, the state ranks 39th in per capita deaths of 81.88.
The Grimm forecast stood in contrast to a spirited news conference organized by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Gov. Gavin Newsome Friday at Dodger Stadium, which is being converted into an immunization center capable of delivering 12,000 doses per day.
California has received more than 3.5 million doses of the vaccine and only more than 1 million doses. Newsom said the state was on track to exceed its target of delivering about 1.5 million doses by Friday.
The governor tried to shed light on encouraging trends: hospitalization, intensive care unit admissions and positivity rates – the percentage of people tested who have the virus – have all declined over the past seven days.
Fox News has reached the government. Newsom’s press office requested for comment but did not hear back until the time of publication.
The Governor’s Friday message was contrary to his warning early last month that strict lockdown measures would be implemented regionally if the ICU bed capacity falls below the 15% mark. Days later, Los Angeles County was placed under new lockdown orders.
Meanwhile, the county’s public health department recently confirmed the first case of COVID-19 variant, B.1.1.7, in a man who spent time in Los Angeles County.
While this was the first confirmed case of a variant in the county, public health officials believe it is likely already spreading in the community and samples are undergoing testing.
The Department of Public Health reiterated the basic COVID-19 safety guidelines to prevent the spread of variant B.1.1.7, which they say spreads more quickly than other variants but does not necessarily lead to more serious illness or death. Increases the risk of
Fox News’ Louis Cassiano and The Associated Press contributed to this report.