The number of people dying of Covid-19 in Los Angeles County in a day is now equivalent to the number of homicide deaths the city saw in an entire year, Mayor Eric Garcetti said.
“Yesterday we had 259 deaths, that’s one more than all the homicides in 2019 in L.A. city combined,” he said at a Thursday new conference. “In a single day, equal to a year of homicides.”
Los Angeles County reported 318 deaths on Friday, the most ever in a single day.
The city of Los Angeles has a population of nearly 4 million people, while the county’s population is about 10 million.
“We are not, nor will we ever, become accustomed to these numbers as normal. Nor will I ever accept them as something we should just live with,” the mayor added. “Because every single one of those means everything to somebody out there today.”
“All of us need to continue to do more,” he said.
The region has for weeks battled a brutal surge of Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations that have translated into climbing numbers of deaths.
Los Angeles County officials now say one person dies of Covid-19 every eight minutes.
“People who were otherwise leading healthy, productive lives are now passing away because of a chance encounter with the Covid-19 virus,” health officials said earlier this week. “This only ends when we each make the right decisions to protect each other.”
There were 18,313 new cases reported Friday, bringing the county’s total to 889,405. More than 8,000 people are hospitalized with the virus across Los Angeles County, 20% of whom are in intensive care units.
Since January 3, the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients jumped by more than 550 people, health officials said Thursday.
And infections are running rampant – accelerating at an “alarming” pace, they added.
“Everyone in L.A. County, businesses and residents, needs to follow the rules if there is any chance we can get out of this surge by the end of the month,” Los Angeles County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer said in a statement.
“I implore everyone to stay home as much as possible. Shopping for anything except food and medicine and mingling with others are activities we all need to stop doing for the next few weeks as it increases risk,” Ferrer added. “There are just too many people spreading the virus, too many people sick and hospitalized and each person that dies is one too many.”
CNN’s Cheri Mossburg contributed to this report,.