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For Immediate Release:

December 30, 2020

L.A. County Surpasses 10,000 COVID-19 Deaths as New Year's Eve Approaches 274 New Deaths and 10,392 New Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has surpassed the tragic milestone of 10,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. This devastating milestone comes as New Year's Eve approaches. To date, Public Health identified 756,116 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 10,056 deaths.

Today, Public Health has confirmed 274 new deaths and 10,392 new cases of COVID-19. The number of new deaths reported today surpasses yesterday's all-time high. Today's number of deaths also 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 days.

Two months ago, L.A. County experienced around 1,200 cases a day. This past week, we have averaged 13,000 new cases each day; this represents a tenfold increase in daily cases in just two months – a number that is staggering.

Public Health notes that while the number of new cases reported this week are expected to be lower due mostly to testing centers being closed on Christmas and Christmas Eve, cases are expected to increase based on holiday travels.

Public Health again reports the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations ever reported since the pandemic began. There are 7,415 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 20% of these people are in the ICU. This is an increase of more than 500 people reported in the last two days.

When L.A. County experienced the summer surge, cases did not reach above 3,000 a day and that kept the increases in hospitalizations and deaths at a relatively smaller curve. However, now with daily cases at or above 13,000, the number of daily hospitalizations and deaths are increasing at much faster rates. Given that cases remain at a very high number, we can, with a high degree of certainty, predict continued increases in the number of people hospitalized and dying, creating more worry and heartache for so many.

Public Health continues efforts to safely and effectively deliver COVID-19 vaccines and build a system that has the capacity to vaccinate prioritized populations. The CDC provides guidance for the allocation of vaccines and the State health department reviews and finalizes these recommendations for us to follow at the county level. The County is implementing a system that builds vaccination capacity throughout the county. This includes relying on private and public healthcare partners and establishing sites where frontline healthcare workers identified in Phase 1a can be vaccinated.

As of Tuesday, a total of 78,022 frontline healthcare workers at acute care hospitals have received their first doses. About 57% of the Pfizer allocation, (not including the doses received this week), has been used. With the Moderna vaccine, which arrived on December 21, a total of 1,398 EMTs and paramedics were already vaccinated, and by the end of the weekend, 3,189 doses had been administered to staff and residents at skilled nursing facilities. Teams for the county and city, and our Curative partners, are working together to accelerate vaccinations at skilled nursing facilities.

Public Health is beginning to plan for vaccinating healthcare workers in Tier 2. Home healthcare workers and healthcare workers at primary care clinics, urgent care clinics and private practices, can begin to register for appointments. Our COVID-19 Healthcare Provider Information Hub is operational on our website, where you can get more details on how to sign up for a vaccination appointment and what information is required.

Of the 274 new deaths reported today, 95 people that passed away were over the age of 80 years old, 99 people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, 44 people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, 11 people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49 years old, and one person who died was between the ages of 18 and 29 years old. Twenty-two deaths were reported by the City of Long Beach, and two deaths reported by the City of Pasadena.

“To everyone who is mourning a loved one, a friend, a co-worker or a neighbor who has passed away from COVID-19, we send you our deepest sympathies and keep you in our thoughts every day,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Unfortunately, given the amount of travel and holiday intermingling that may be happening over this winter holiday, we all need to be prepared for another surge that will start with even higher case numbers in January. I want to again urge everyone recently returning or coming to Los Angeles County from outside the greater Southern California region – whether you just went to visit family in another state or took a trip north of here – to quarantine at home for a minimum of 10 days. This is required for everyone who traveled for leisure or recreation."

As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, certain groups are again bearing a greater burden of serious illness and death than others from COVID-19. Latino/Latinx residents are now experiencing a 14-day cumulative rate of 1,695 new cases per 100,000 people. That is an increase of 743% since the surge began on November 1. This rate for Latino/Latinx residents is over twice that of African American/Black residents, the group with the second highest case rate of about 752 cases per 100,000 per day. White residents experience 635 cases per 100,000 per day and Asian residents experience 519 cases per 100,000 per day.

As with cases, the gaps in hospitalization rates by race and ethnicity are also widening. Latino/Latinx residents have a hospitalization rate of 80 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, a 627% increase since early November, and 3 times the rate of White residents. The number of African American/Black residents in hospitals is also increasing – to 57 hospitalizations per 100,000 people, a 714% increase since early November, and more than double that of White and Asian resident who currently have a rate of 26 hospitalizations per 100,000 people.

With this dramatic increase in hospitalizations, the County is also witnessing a surge in deaths among all races along with a constantly widening gap between the most impacted group – Latino/Latinx residents – and all others. Since deaths began to rise among Latino/Latinx residents on November 11, the rate went from about 3 deaths per 100,000 people a day to nearly 16 deaths per 100,000 people a day. That is an increase of more than 400%. The daily death rates among Latino/Latinx residents is twice as high as the rates for African American/Black residents and Asian residents, who experience about 8 deaths per 100,000 people a day from COVID-19. The rate for White residents is at 6 deaths per 100,000 people a day. Daily death rates for American/Black, Asian and White residents have tripled since November.

We continue to see a high mortality rate among people living in areas with the highest levels of poverty, with three times the death rate compared to people living in the lowest levels of poverty.

These gaps continue to highlight the need to provide resources and protection to all workers, and especially those workers – and their families – who are going to work every day. These are our essential workers who work at our manufacturing and food processing plants, at our grocery stores and retail shops; they include our first responders, those who are keeping our utilities operating and our transit systems running, and the thousands of workers supporting our medical and hospital systems.

Testing results are available for nearly 4,670,000 individuals with 15% of people testing positive. 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.

www.publichealth.lacounty.gov.

Please see additional information below:

Laboratory Confirmed Total Cases 756116*

Deaths 10056