“L.A., let’s hunker down. Let’s cancel our plans. Let’s stay safe,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti on Friday evening.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported on Friday the highest number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations ever in a day with 8,860 new cases and 2,668 people hospitalized. Garcetti called the numbers “stark,” before continuing, “We had more cases this last week than we had in the entire month of October.”
“If we stay on this case trajectory,” he warned, “L.A. is due to see half-a-million cases by year’s end.”
The new cases data surpassed Thursday’s of 7,854 — also a record — by more than 1,000 cases and is the third time this week Los Angeles County has surpassed the previous all-time high of new cases.
It came on the same day that California set its own record for new infections, with Friday’s number up 16% from Thursday’s to
Of the 2,668 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized, 24% of these people are in the ICU. This is the fourth consecutive day the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 surpassed the all-time high; this is a doubling from two weeks ago when daily hospitalizations were 1,298.
L.A. officials confirmed 60 new deaths related to the virus. The number of daily Covid-19 deaths continues to climb. Two weeks ago, the county averaged 21 daily deaths.
As of Thursday, the death toll in L.A. due to the pandemic had risen to 8,860 — health officials did not provide an updated total on Friday. Garcetti said models predict the area will see 11,000 deaths by year’s end. That would mean 3,000 deaths in December alone.
On Thursday, the state announced a Regional Stay Home Order that will go into effect and would remain in effect for at least 3 weeks in California regions where ICU capacity falls below 15%.
According to the State, as of December 3, the Southern California Region has 20.6% actual ICU capacity remaining.
On Friday evening, Garcetti predicted that the region would be under 15% ICU capacity “this weekend or as early as next week.”
To date, L.A. public health officials have identified 430,583 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 7,842 deaths. Upon further investigation, 158 cases reported earlier were not L.A. County residents.
Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients in Orange County continued today to climb to record levels, and the death toll also took a sharp uptick, Orange County Health Care Agency officials reported. Since orange County and L.A. are now tied together in one region, those record rates impact all Southern Californians.
The percentage of ICU beds available in Orange County stands at 20%, up from 17% on Thursday.
City News Service contributed to this report.