Despite news that the first people in Los Angeles County received the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 on Monday, hospitalizations keep increasing in the county, reaching an all-time high on Monday. Meanwhile, ICU bed availability continues to plummet to record-setting lows.
Helen Cordova, an ICU nurse at Kaiser Permanente on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, received one of the first doses in California of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 on Monday morning.
Gov. Gavin Newsom was among the elected officials on hand witnessing Cordova’s inoculation. Moments later, he tweeted, “History made.” Four other Kaiser workers were also vaccinated as cameras rolled to capture the moment.
Thousands of doses of the vaccine arrived at Los Angeles International Airport Sunday night, marking the first step in a massive undertaking that will see the county attempt to vaccinate 6 million people in six months, beginning with critical health care workers.
“We front-line workers have been working around the clock over the past nine months, sacrificing so much of what we do and love to take care of our patients,” Kaiser emergency room nurse Kim Taylor said after receiving a dose. “We’ve been doing this while trying to take care of our own families and keep them safe. What I want you guys to know is that help is on the way. Today is just a first step. Soon more vaccines will be distributed to the front-line workers and our most vulnerable populations.”
She stressed the safety of the vaccine, and said that while the vaccine is offering hope, “the best way you can support us nurses right now is to continue wearing a mask, maintain physical distance, stay home for the holidays and wash your hands.”
“We are marching through the horror of this moment,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told reporters. “There’s no way around that, with 10 times the cases we had just six weeks ago in this county. But today, we’re also marching through the hope of this moment.”
Some 194 more people were hospitalized on Monday than on Sunday, with a total of 4,203 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19. That 4,203 people hospitalized is a new record for the county, beating the previous record of 4,009 which was set on Sunday. Of those hospitalized, 21% are in the ICU.
The county has set a new record for number of hospitalizations every day since Dec. 1. The number of people hospitalized has increased 81% in the last two weeks. On Dec. 1, there were 2,316 people hospitalized. On Dec. 7, there were 2,988 people hospitalized and now on Dec. 14, there are 4,203 people hospitalized.
The 11-county Southern California region’s ICU bed availability now stands at 2.7%, the lowest it has ever been. A percentage of ICU bed availability was not announced on Sunday, but it stood at 5.3% on Saturday, which was down from 6.2% on Friday, 7.7% on Thursday, 9% on Wednesday, 10.1% on Tuesday and 10.9% on Dec. 7.
Los Angeles County reported 7,344 new COVID-19 cases on Monday. That brings the county to a cumulative total of 532,730 cases since the pandemic began in March.
While today’s 7,344 new cases are much lower than the 12,731 new cases reported on Sunday, it does NOT indicate this latest coronavirus surge has ended. Monday numbers tend to always be low due to lags in reporting over the weekend.
The county announced 48 more people dead from the coronavirus on Monday, pushing the county’s cumulative death toll to 8,345 people.
West Hollywood saw 10 new cases on Monday for a cumulative total of 1,131 cases. There were no new deaths from COVID in the city. WeHo’s cumulative death toll remains at nine deaths.
Below are the daily numbers for areas near West Hollywood:
- Beverly Hills – 15 new cases for a total of 1,226 cases.
- Culver City – 14 new cases for a total of 859 cases.
- Hollywood – 16 new cases for a total of 2,463 cases.
- Melrose neighborhood – 20 new cases for a total of 3,556 cases.
- Miracle Mile – 5 new cases for a total of 382 cases.
- Park La Brea – 1 new case for a total of 253 cases.
- Santa Monica – 31 new cases for a total of 1,938 cases.
For information about the many resources available to West Hollywood residents who have been impacted by COVID-19, CLICK HERE.