Covid Deaths Begin To Rise In Los Angeles; Wave Believed Tied To Beginning Of December Omicron Case Surge

Los Angeles Public Health officials reported a total of 39 deaths today, the highest number of Covid-related new deaths since September 22nd. The deaths are likely the result of the rise in case and hospitalization numbers in December, according to officials. Deaths related to the impact of the more recent record number of cases in the county will not show up for weeks, given that it is a lagging indicator.

The 36 deaths may not sound like much, but it is more than double the 15, 16, and 13 deaths the county has most recently recorded. Most of those who died were over the age of 65 with underlying conditions. To date, the total number of deaths in L.A. related to the pandemic is 27,850.

The number of new cases reported today was 40,452, up from 34,827 yesterday. The 7-day test positivity continues to fall from a high of near 23% on January 2 to a still-extraordinarily high 20.3% today.

Hospitalizations tied to the December wave began to rise in late December. In the seven days leading up to December 29, the number of Covid-related hospitalizations rose 75% to 1,367. The number has continued to rise as a result of recent record numbers of cases, with 3,912 Covid-infected people currently reported hospitalized. While today’s number of hospitalizations is a high for the Omicron surge, it is so far about half that seen in last winter’s surge.

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