L.A. County COVID-19 Toll Rises Over Deadly Weekend

Daily deaths of COVID-19 in L.A. County up until Jan. 8, 2021. | Graph courtesy of L.A. County Public Health

From Friday to Sunday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 705 new COVID-19 deaths. The county saw its deadliest day for COVID-19 with 318 fatalities. Then on Saturday, the county reported 221 new fatalities, surpassing 12,000 cumulative deaths. Sunday, the county reported 166 new casualties, bringing the total number of deaths to 12,250.

L.A. County experienced more than 1,000 new COVID-19 in the four days leading up to Saturday and more than 100,000 new cases last week.

This sustained surge in cases continues to drive thousands of residents every day to seek care at already overwhelmed hospitals across L.A. County. On Sunday, there were 7,964 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 22% of those in the ICU.

On Friday, the Public Health Department said it reported over 200 daily deaths during the week. For comparison, the county on average has approximately 170 deaths each day from all other causes combined, including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, car crashes, suicides, and homicides.

“The speed with which we are reaching grim milestones of COVID-19 deaths and cases is a devasting reflection of the immense spread that is occurring across the County,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of public health, in a statement Saturday. “And this accelerated spread reflects the many unsafe actions individuals took over holidays. The travel and inter-mingling with non-household members made it much easier for transmission of the virus. As a result, there is so much more risk when engaging in any activity that has you exposed to people outside your household.”

Public Health also reported three additional cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) on Saturday. This brings the total cases of MIS-C in L.A. County to 54 children including one child death. All 54 children with MIS-C in L.A. County were hospitalized and 50% of the children were treated in the ICU. Of the children with MIS-C, 30% were under the age of 5 years old, 37% were between the ages of 5 and 11 years old, and 33% were between the ages of 12 and 20 years old. Latino/Latinx children account for nearly 74% of the reported cases.

MIS-C is an inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 and symptoms include fever that does not go away and inflamed body parts, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.

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