9,000 COVID-19 deaths in LA County, 23,000 in California

Los Angeles County reported its deadly day yet in the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday – and officials warn that tolls will only continue to rise unless residents take steps to blunt the violent wave.

The 145 additional deaths that exceeded the previous daily height of 134 announced a week ago came the day after the county officially hit another morbid milestone: surpassing 9,000 total coronavirus-related deaths.

Even before Wednesday’s record report, the county had an average of 85 COVID-19 deaths a day over the past week, a record high.

In early November, the county averaged about 12 coronavirus-related deaths a day, according to Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

“This coronavirus has improved our lives, our daily routines, and huge sacrifices are required when people cope with the devastating economic losses,” she said during a briefing on Wednesday. “For many in LA County, however, COVID-19 has resulted in erratic disruption and permanent loss.”

Public health officials are now awaiting the arrival of Christmas and New Year with breath. Many seeds of the current wave, they say, were planted by people who defied public health guidelines against traveling and gathering with them outside their household for Thanksgiving.

If a large number of Californians do the same thing this time, officials warn, it’s almost certain to trigger another wave.

“We are experiencing, we have experienced, the wave on top of the wave of Thanksgiving,” Gavin Newsom said Wednesday. “And, of course, the most important message that we can communicate today is to do everything in our power to mitigate the spread and transmission of this virus during this very vulnerable period, because this virus loves social events. This virus thrives in that atmosphere. ”

More than 23,000 Californians have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began, a milestone that was crossed Tuesday. Over the past 14 days, more than 3,000 have died – a staggering number that accounts for 13% of the state’s 23,303 total deaths.

These numbers serve as a “sober, sober reminder of how deadly this disease is and how tragic the loss of any life is,” according to Newsom.

“This disease remains fatal,” he said Wednesday. “This pandemic remains deadly.”

On Tuesday, 375 deaths were reported nationwide, according to a county after county conducted by The Times, marking the second worst death in a single day, just outside the record set on December 16, when 394 deaths were reported. registered.

Fresno County reported 89 deaths Tuesday; previously, the largest number of deaths it reported in a single day was 28, which happened on December 11th. Fresno County now reports nearly 2,000 new coronavirus cases a day over the past week, nearly seven times worse than the comparable number from Thanksgiving.

Fresno County is now averaging 13 deaths a day from COVID-19 over the past seven days; the comparable number from Thanksgiving was two deaths a day.

The rapidly rising death toll is the most severe, but not the only, aftermath of COVID-19’s violent movement across LA County and the state.

Infections have increased in recent weeks and have pushed an unprecedented number of patients into California hospitals.

On Tuesday, the most recent day for complete data available, there were record highs across COVID-19 admissions – 18,448 – and intensive care patients – 3,827.

In LA County, where there are 10 million people, a point-in-time survey found that there were 30 available ICU beds from 6 p.m. 9 Sunday. A similar mood last week found 69.

“Today, we are over 100% of our usual patient volume, and of that volume, 52% of our inpatients are diagnosed with COVID,” said Greg Adams, chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente on Tuesday. “Sixteen of our 36 hospitals already have over 100% occupancy on our ICUs. We struggle to add capacity to COVID patients as we speak. ”

Hospitals already need to step up measures to ensure that the sickest patients receive the highest possible level of care. This includes moving some patients who will typically be on the ICU to other areas of the hospital, such as a healing area, or keeping them in the emergency room longer than usual.