With infections nonetheless surging, Los Angeles County’s cumulative variety of Covid instances all through the pandemic surpassed the two million mark at this time, with 43,582 new instances confirmed. These new instances lifted the county’s cumulative case whole to 2,010,964 because the pandemic started. Every day instances within the county set an all-time excessive on Sunday at 45,584.

One other 13 deaths had been additionally confirmed, giving the county an total loss of life toll of 27,798.

The variety of Covid-positive sufferers in county hospitals additionally continued an unnerving rise, reaching 3,472, in response to state figures. That was up from 3,364 on Sunday. The variety of hospitalized sufferers being handled in intensive care has additionally begun to rise, going from 435 on Sunday to 482 on Monday.

The variety of hospitalized Covid-positive sufferers has not been this excessive since February of final yr, throughout a extreme winter surge that at one level pushed the affected person quantity above 8,000. A state ensemble forecast launched at this time confirmed the variety of Covid-related hospitalizations in California peaking late this month at 30,000. That’s greater than 30% greater than the earlier file set final winter.

“With surging transmission and quickly rising instances and hospitalizations, our already understaffed well being care suppliers are beneath huge pressure as they attempt to care for thus many COVID contaminated individuals, together with these with gentle sickness who’re searching for assist and assist, with the unintended consequence of compromising response capability throughout all the system,” county Public Well being Director Barbara Ferrer mentioned in a press release.

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“As a result of excessive group transmission has the inevitable impression of accelerating demand for well being care companies, one of the best ways to guard well being care personnel and our capability to take care of each these with Covid and non-Covid sickness, is to double-down on decreasing transmission.”

The county Division of Public Well being famous, nonetheless, {that a} majority of COVID hospitalizations are occurring amongst individuals who had been initially admitted for an additional cause, and solely realized that they had the virus after they had been examined upon admission.

For the week ending Dec. 26, 55% of Covid-positive hospital sufferers had been admitted for a distinct cause — indicating that whereas they had been contaminated with Covid, they weren’t experiencing extreme virus signs.

County well being officers pressured, nonetheless, that unvaccinated individuals stay 21 instances extra more likely to wind up hospitalized with COVID than vaccinated individuals.

The present surge in instances in being pushed by the extremely transmissible Omicron variant of the virus.

“Whereas it’s true that Omicron is way more infectious than earlier Covid strains, there are a lot of efficient methods obtainable for decreasing transmission dangers over the following few weeks,” Ferrer mentioned. “Gatherings also needs to be postponed for a number of weeks, particularly if there are members who aren’t totally vaccinated, and everybody can’t take a look at earlier than getting collectively. Lastly, upgrading masks to people who present a greater barrier towards virus particles is a commonsense step that will increase our personal safety together with these round us.”

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The county’s rolling common charge of individuals testing optimistic for the virus was 21.4% as of Monday, up from 20.6% Sunday and 20.9% Saturday after every week of trending downward. The speed was lower than 1% in November.

The testing-positivity charge, nonetheless, could also be artificially low as a result of quantity of people that use take-home exams and don’t report the outcomes, in response to officers.

General, 67% of eligible county residents are totally vaccinated.

Metropolis Information Service contributed to this report.