West Hollywood reported eight new cases of COVID-19 on Thanksgiving Day, while Los Angeles County reported 5,087 new cases, one of the highest single-day case totals of the entire pandemic.
West Hollywood had no new deaths, but Los Angeles had 37 additional deaths on Thursday.
The number of county residents hospitalized with the coronavirus jumped by 127 people from 1,682 on Wednesday to 1,809 on Thursday, with 24% of those in intensive care.
The staggering numbers came one day after a much-debated ban on in-person dining took effect, with Los Angeles County health officials painting a dire picture of the current surge, saying the transmission rate has reached its highest point since March and could overwhelm hospitals within a month.
“We continue to be at a very difficult time in this pandemic, as is so much of the United States,” county Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said Wednesday. “In fact, our situation is getting worse each day.”
According to current county estimates, every person with COVID-19 in the county is passing the virus to an average of 1.27 other people — the highest transmission rate the county has seen since March, before any safety protocols such as face coverings and social distancing were in place.
In order to curb the pandemic, the transmission rate must be below one, meaning that each person infected passes it to less than one other person.
Based on that transmission rate, health officials estimate one of every 145 people in the county are now infected with the virus and transmitting it to others.
“This doesn’t include people that are currently hospitalized or isolated at home,” county Health Services Director Dr. Christina Ghaly said. “This is the estimate of people that are out and about and infecting others. They may not know they’re infected. They may know they’re infected and not be isolating. But they’re out there and they’re exposing other people to the virus.”
Ghaly said the number of people hospitalized due to the virus has jumped by 70% in the past two weeks.
Ghaly noted that given the current transmission rate, the number of hospitalized patients could double in two weeks, and quadruple in a month. She said hospitals have “surge” plans to increase the number of beds, but the availability of health care workers to staff those beds and treat patients is more limited.
The county’s state-adjusted seven-day average testing positivity rate was 7.3% as of Thursday, up from 6.6% Wednesday and 5.3% a week ago. The county was reporting a roughly 3.9% rate at the beginning of November.
Davis on Wednesday again emphasized the need for the restriction, saying the current surge in cases makes it imperative to limit the potential for virus spread.
“To slow this disease at this point, limiting certain activities that can easily result in many additional cases, like outdoor dining in restaurants, and reducing the numbers of people indoors in other settings is trying to get our case rate lower so we can move to a less restrictive tier and reopen more businesses,” Davis said. “We all know what we need to do, but with cases increasing as they have, not enough people are doing it.”
West Hollywood now has a cumulative total of 908 positive COVID-19 cases, since the pandemic began in March. Los Angeles County has a cumulative total of 383,275 cases.
West Hollywood has cumulative total of eight deaths connected to COVID-19, while Los Angeles County has a cumulative total of 7,580 deaths.
Below are the daily numbers for areas near West Hollywood:
- Beverly Hills – 9 new cases for a total of 948 cases.
- Culver City – 13 new cases for a total of 609 cases.
- Hollywood – 34 new cases for a total of 1,827 cases.
- Melrose neighborhood – 49 new cases for a total of 2,751 cases.
- Park La Brea – no new cases for a total of 184 cases.
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