Los Angeles County reported its highest number of new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations since the start of the pandemic, with 7,593 new cases and 2,316 hospitalizations, according to a news release from the L.A. County Department of Public Health on Tuesday.
"Today, Tuesday, December 1, 2020, is the worst day thus far of the COVID-19 pandemic in Los Angeles County,” the county's Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said in the release. “However, it will likely not remain the worst day of the pandemic in Los Angeles County. That will be tomorrow, and the next day and the next as cases, hospitalizations and deaths increase.”
The number of new Covid-19 cases reported Tuesday easily surpassed the previous high of 6,124 new cases seen last week, signaling “that the virus is infecting more people at a faster rate than ever seen in L.A. County before,” the health department said.
The daily test positivity rate has nearly doubled to 12% from 7% one week ago and the number of hospitalizations has increased nearly every day since November when the number of hospitalizations was about 799, the release adds. With 2,316 hospitalizations, “this exceeds the peak of 2,232 people hospitalized with Covid-19 during the July surge.”
“Every resident and every business needs to take immediate action if we are to dampen this alarming surge. We are in the middle of an accelerating surge in a pandemic of huge magnitude,” said Ferrer. “This is not the time to skirt or debate the safety measures that protect us because we need every single person to use every tool available to stop the surge and save lives.”
The public health department is urging all residents to stay home as much as possible. The county also issued a modified stay at home order that went into effect on Monday. Outdoor dining and gatherings with people outside a single household are prohibited under the new order.
Since the end of August, the public health department issued a total of 352 citations to non-compliant businesses, according to the release.
To date, Los Angeles County has reported a total of 408,396 coronavirus cases and 7,700 deaths.