County continues to break records for new COVID cases
by Steven Felschundneff | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Omicron-driven wave of the coronavirus continues to rage across the region-breaking records for new infections, including right here in Claremont.
Since the COURIER’s last report on Thursday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reports 585 new cases in Claremont, including an outbreak among three people at Claremont City Hall and five at the Claremont Police Department.
Claremont Public Information Officer Bevin Handel said the outbreak was not in one particular department and the public was never exposed to these individual employees.
“The city has maintained distancing, masking, cleaning protocols, and plexi shields in public areas to minimize any public exposure. We also halted all in person meetings as the case rates continue to surge,” Handel said.
As the second anniversary of the pandemic looms, the county reached another sad milestone as cumulative cases crested two million, boosted by 43,582 new infections on Monday. Meanwhile, on Tuesday the Los Angeles Times reported cumulative cases statewide have now reached the six-million mark.
“As cases soared today to the highest level since the start of the pandemic, those vaccinated and boosted continue to be protected from infections and severe illness. Vaccinated and boosted individuals were almost four times less likely to get infected and 38 times less likely to be hospitalized than those who were unvaccinated,” public health said in a statement.
The surge in cases is boosting hospitalizations, which swelled to 3,912 on Thursday the most since February 2021. However, as the COURIER reported last week, the hospitalization rate this year is very different from last because an estimated 55% of coronavirus-positive patients were admitted to the hospital for other ailments and learned they had COVID-19 because of mandatory testing. A year ago there were far more people hospitalized at 7,910 even with daily cases at a third of today’s rate.
The percentage of COVID patients in intensive care units is significantly lower than during previous surges due mainly to high vaccination rates. Currently, 14% of the COVID-positive hospitalized patients are in the ICU, and 7% are on a ventilator. A year ago 21% of COVID patients were in the ICU.
“The ICU admission rate for unvaccinated individuals was 21 times higher than the rate among fully vaccinated individuals,” according to Public Health.
On Thursday Public Health confirmed 39 additional fatalities, the highest single day of deaths since September 22, 2021 bringing total mortality in L.A. County to 27,850. Of the new deaths, one person was between the ages of 30 and 49, seven were 50 to 64, 12 were 65 to 79, and 16 were over the age of 80. Thirty-three had underlying medical conditions.
The county has recorded 2,086,581 cumulative cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and the positivity rate is 20%.