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For Immediate Release:

December 29, 2020

L.A. County Reports Highest Number of New COVID-19 Deaths Partly Due to Backlog, Hospitalizations Exceed 7,000 COVID-19 Patients for First Time - 227 New Deaths and 12,979 New Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 227 new deaths and 12,979 new cases of COVID-19. The high number of new deaths reflects a significant number of deaths from the backlog associated with the Spectrum outage and holiday reporting delays. Public Health anticipates confirming additional deaths due to the backlog of death reports over the next two to three days.

Today, Public Health again confirms the highest number of hospitalizations reported in a day with 7,181 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. This is an increase of 267 people reported yesterday. Of the 7,181 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized, 20% of these patients are in the ICU.

Today's number of daily hospitalizations is nearly a 1,000% increase from two months ago, when on October 29, L.A. County experienced 750 COVID-19 hospitalizations. For comparison, today's number is more than three times the peak of the July surge, when L.A. County experienced 2,232 people hospitalized with COVID-19.

Of the 227 new deaths reported today, 89 people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, 70 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 40 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and 18 people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49 years old. Eight-five people who died had underlying health conditions including 35 people over the age of 80 years old, 29 people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 14 people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, and seven people between the ages of 30 and 49 years old. Nine deaths were reported by the City of Long Beach.

To date, Public Health identified 746,089 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 9,782 deaths.

“Our deepest sympathies go out to everyone who has lost a family member or friend to COVID-19,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Suffering followed by more suffering continue as too many residents and businesses behave as if we are not living in the most dangerous time of the most devastating pandemic. Our healthcare workers are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients and this current path of surging COVID-19 hospitalizations is not sustainable. Even if you believe your life isn't at risk, actions that defy public health guidance certainly put other lives in danger. We are each other's keepers. Instead of hosting or attending a party this New Year's Eve, choose to stay home and celebrate with only your household or to connect virtually with other family members and friends. Make ending this deadly surge part of your New Year's resolution."

Public Health also extended the Temporary Health Officer Order, which will remain in effect for as long as the State Public Health Officer's Regional Stay At Home remains in effect in the Southern California region.

Testing results are available for more than 4,650,000 individuals with 15% of people testing positive.

As of December 23, there have been a total of five deaths among the 3,852 pregnant women that tested positive for COVID-19. Seventy-nine of pregnant women testing positive for COVID-19 are Latina/Latinx, 9% are White, 4% are African American/Black, 3% are Asian, less than 1% are Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 2% identify with another race, and race/ethnicity was unknown or unspecified for 2%. Among the 1,923 births where there was testing information, 27 babies tested positive for the virus.

Public Health urges expecting and new moms to take extra care and remain home as much as possible to avoid potential exposure. If you are sick or positive for COVID-19 and breastfeeding, wear a mask while breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, and be sure to wash your hands before touching the baby or any pump or bottle before using. If possible, ask someone else to feed the baby your breastmilk by bottle. Public Health has detailed guidance for expecting and new moms available online.

Public Health continues to urge everyone to stay home as much as possible to protect yourself and others. Only go out for work, exercise or for essential services. When you must leave your home, always wear a face covering and stay at least 6 feet away from people you do not live with at all times, no crowding, and wash hands frequently.

The Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, Roadmap to Recovery, Recovery Dashboard, and additional things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website, www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.

Please see additional information below:

Laboratory Confirmed Total Cases 746089*

Deaths 9782