Upwards of 8,000 people are in Los Angeles County hospitals being treated for Covid-19, authorities said.
County officials say the situation is now "a health crisis of epic proportions.”
“The rate of new cases this month is translating into a disastrous increase in the number of people with severe Covid-19 symptoms being sent to our local hospitals and, tragically, we are now seeing more than 200 deaths a day,” the LA County Department of Public Health said in a statement. “People who were otherwise leading healthy, productive lives are now passing away because of a chance encounter with the Covid-19 virus.”
Another 11,841 Covid-19 infections and 258 virus-related deaths were reported in Los Angeles County on Wednesday. To date, the county has reported a total of 852,165 coronavirus cases and 11,328 fatalities.
Of the 8,023 people being treated in the hospital with the virus, 20% are in the ICU, according to the statement. While the three-day average number of coronavirus hospitalizations on November 1 was 791, that figure had increased to 7,873 on January 4.
“Hospitals are accepting more patients than they can discharge, and this is causing a huge strain on our emergency medical system,” the public health department said.
Health crisis: The test positivity rate in the county has also increased to 21.8% from 3.8% in November. One in five people who are tested are testing positive, according to the public health department.
"This is a health crisis of epic proportions. I am more troubled than ever before, and in part, my concern is rooted in the reality that it will take so much more for us to slow the spread given the high rate of community spread,” Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said in a statement.
According to Dr. Ferrer, the number of people dying from the virus each day has doubled.