News Release
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313 N. Figueroa Street, Room 806  •  Los Angeles, CA 90012   •  (213) 240-8144  •  media@ph.lacounty.gov
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For Immediate Release:

December 31, 2020

Public Health Urges Everyone to Stay Home with Your Household New Year’s Eve and Throughout the Weekend - 290 New Deaths and 15,129 New Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 290 new deaths and 15,129 new cases of COVID-19. The number of new deaths reported today surpasses yesterday's all-time high. A significant number of deaths reported today are from the backlog associated with the Spectrum outage and holiday reporting delays.

In 2020, Public Health identified 770,602 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 10,345 deaths. Eighty-six percent of the people who died from COVID-19 this year had underlying health conditions.

Younger residents continue to drive increases in community transmission in the county. At the beginning of the current surge on November 1, there were 463 cases a day among residents between the ages of 30 and 49 years old. By December 22, there were 4,419 cases a day among residents in this age group; an increase of about 950%. The next group driving increases are young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 years old. When the surge began, there were 303 cases a day among adults between the ages of 18 and 29 years old. On December 22, there were 3,072 cases a day; a nearly 1,000% increase.

There are 7,546 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 20% of these people are in the ICU.

While the highest number of cases are among young adults, the individuals with the worst outcomes are those who are older. Residents over 80 years old have consistently experienced the highest rates of hospitalization among all age groups in L.A. County followed by residents 65 to 79 years old, and residents 50 to 64 years old. We are also seeing increases in the rate of hospitalization among younger people. The hospitalization rate among people between the ages of 18 to 29 years old increased by 350% since November. Even children between the ages of 12 and 17 years old are being impacted - they have experienced a 200% increase in their rate of hospitalizations.

Of the 290 new deaths reported today, 11 deaths were reported by the City of Long Beach and one death was reported by the City of Pasadena.

The age group with the highest number of deaths per day are people over 80 years old. When the surge began in early November, there were 4 deaths a day on average for people over 80 years old. As of December 22, the county is experiencing 40 deaths a day on average for people over 80 years old. The next group with the highest number of deaths per day are people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old. As of December 22, 35 people died a day in this age group. Older residents in Los Angeles County are unfortunately suffering the greatest losses in this pandemic. We need to do everything we can to protect everyone, especially our most senior citizens.

Testing results are available for nearly 4,700,000 individuals with 15% of people testing positive. The daily test positivity rate is 22.5%. This high positivity rate remains alarming and should tell everyone that the coronavirus is very prevalent and persistent in all corners of the county.

“As we come to the end of 2020 and as this awful pandemic continues, I want to express our deepest sympathies to everyone who lost a loved one, a friend, a co-worker or a neighbor from COVID-19 this year. Our thoughts are with you and we wish you healing and peace,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “We thank everyone - as this year ends - for all you have done to protect each other and wish we didn’t need to ask folks to continue to forgo certain activities that are important to well-being. Unfortunately, the urgency has never been greater to protect those we love and all those essential workers caring for our loved ones in healthcare facilities and providing us with essential services. Tonight, and throughout the weekend, we need everyone to stay home and celebrate the advent of the new year with just your immediate household. All it takes is one slip to have one exposure and the coronavirus has found another host, another victim. And, our dangerous surge continues. As we head into a new year, we wish everyone peace and ask that we work together to save lives."

Public Health asks all businesses in L.A. County to start 2021 with a pledge to be a responsible company. We strongly encourage all business owners and managers to take extra steps to be fully compliant with the safeguards and modifications set forth in the Stay at Home Order and Public Health protocols. Your efforts will help protect your workers and their families. This next week employers should also make sure that employees who recently traveled for leisure or recreation are self-quarantining for 10 days upon their return. Where possible, employees that can telework should be encouraged to do so for at least the first couple of weeks in January while community transmission rates are likely to be very high. These efforts can help prevent spread of the virus at worksites.

We want to highlight the devastating impact of COVID-19 on our community; more than 10,000 people passing away this year, and all were loved by and loved others. #Every10Minutes someone dies of COVID-19 in L.A. County. Until we slow the spread, the next person to tragically pass away could be someone you know. Today at 12:00 a.m., Public Health began the #Every10Minutes campaign and is sending tweets on Twitter every 10 minutes until midnight tonight to honor those that we lost and remind everyone to sacrifice so we save lives: Please stay home. Please physically distance. Please wear a face covering when outside. Slow the spread. Save a life. Follow Public Health on Twitter @lapublichealth.

For those who need someone to talk to, the Department of Mental Health’s Help Line operates 24 hours a day 7 days a week. They can provide you with access to emotional support and referrals for mental health and wellness services. The phone number to access all these services is (800) 854-7771, or text “LA” to 741741 to start a conversation.

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 770602*

Deaths 10345