COVID-19 continued to pressure the Los Angeles County hospital system today, and the number of patients continued its upward march as the county confirmed a near-record 2,779 new cases. That brought the county total to 103,850.
Public health officials warned Monday that the increase in the number of coronavirus cases could cause the county to run out of hospital beds in the next two to three weeks, potentially running out of intensive care unit beds.
When asked if this is a watershed week, the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Barbara Ferrer, said: “We cannot maintain this rate of increase in positive cases. This train can be a runaway train if we don’t put breaks on it. We have to rethink this new normal. “
As of Tuesday, the county reported 1,783 people were admitted to hospitals due to the virus, continuing an upward trend that has increased the number by more than 400 in the past month.
Dr. Anthony Fauci: “I wouldn’t be surprised if we increased to 100,000 [New Cases] One day; We clearly don’t have full control. ”
The county also announced 45 other deaths, which was one of its highest numbers in the past week. The new deaths gave the county a total of 3,371.
As of Tuesday, about 9 percent of the more than 1.1 million people tested in the county have been positive for the virus. The short-term positivity rate has been on the rise, raising new concerns in the county about rising numbers and the possibility of an overwhelmed healthcare system. The seven-day average of the daily positivity rate increased from 5.8 percent two weeks ago to 8.4 percent as of Monday. For reference, state guidelines will not allow a county to reopen with a 14-day positivity rate of more than 8 percent.
The overall positive rate in California for the past 14 days is 5.6 percent. California hospitalizations for COVID-19 increased by 301 patients Tuesday, a 6.3 percent jump. Thirty percent of all ICU beds in the state were occupied by patients with coronavirus.
“In [sic] The particular concern is the number of hospitalizations and the number of beds in the ICU, ”said Governor Gavin Newsom after announcing those figures.
The number of COVID patients in ICU beds increased 4.3 percent overnight and saw a 37 percent increase over a two-week period.
The governor said the positivity rate for the new tests was 4.4 percent two weeks ago. Now, in the last 7 days, it’s 5.9 percent.
Los Angeles County health officials said Monday that new statistics indicate that, on average, one in 140 people in Los Angeles County is infected with COVID-19 and is able to pass it on to others, likely without any symptoms. or even without knowing that they carry the virus. . Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that figure could be closer to one in 70. That is a dramatic change from last week, when the estimate was one in 400 people.
“What this means is that Angelenos in everyday activities when they go out are in places or near people who are currently infectious, and in fact a typical large store is likely to have multiple infectious people in the shop every day, “said Dr. Roger Lewis, who leads the county’s statistical modeling efforts, on Monday.
Some experts have attributed the increase in overall cases to increased evidence, but county officials have repeatedly said in recent days that the metrics clearly demonstrate an increase in community spread of COVID-19.
Health officials said Friday that cases affecting younger people ages 18 to 40 have increased by 42 percent in the past two weeks, making that age group the determining factor in the increases. Interestingly, due to better overall health, that cohort is Less People over the age of 40 are likely to be hospitalized, the age group that had previously formed the majority of cases.
Governor Gavin Newsom on Sunday ordered all bars in Los Angeles County to be closed, and hinted Tuesday that there could be more state restrictions to prevent an explosion of virus cases during the July 4 holiday weekend. He also said he can announce further enforcement of the state’s requirement that people wear masks while in public.
Los Angeles County announced Monday that all of its beaches will be closed over the holiday weekend in hopes of avoiding large gatherings. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who is involved in an ongoing budget battle with the County Board of Supervisors, suggested Monday that his agency may not enforce the beach closure order.
On Tuesday, Villanueva tweeted: “Enforcement efforts will focus on vehicle violations and criminal codes, the closure of beach parking lots, and street parking restrictions. The (Sheriff’s) beach patrol will patrol the county’s beaches to ensure public safety. “
City News Service contributed to this report.