More than 1,000 people in Los Angeles County died of COVID-19 in just two weeks, with an average of nearly 73 virus deaths per day, health officials said Monday.

The health department reported the alarming numbers just as the county’s COVID-19 total death toll topped 9,000.

A rapid acceleration in coronavirus infections has fueled overwhelming strain on hospitals across the county, with doctors warning there will soon be no room for emergency patients if the surge continues its out-of-control trajectory.

A record 5,866 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized across the county on Tuesday, 20% of them in intensive care units.

That’s 2,700 new patients in just two weeks.

“Unfortunately, today marks another tragic milestone as we acknowledge and grieve the more than 9,000 residents that have passed away from COVID-19,” L.A. County Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “Our actions have an impact on the health and well-being of many people in our county, and not following the public health rules has deadly consequences.”

County projections show that the number of daily hospitalizations could soon swell to over 7,000, a figure that translates to 110 people dying of COVID-19 each day, Ferrer said in a Monday news conference in which she said the hospital network was “under siege.”

On Tuesday, the health department reported 12,954 new coronavirus infections and another 88 deaths attributed to COVID-19, bringing the countywide total to 647,542 cases and 9,016 deaths.

“This is not the time to crowd at stores, to attend parties and gatherings, or to travel,” Ferrer said. “If every person can find it in themselves to celebrate the meaning of the holidays by protecting each other from the virus, we have a chance to stop the surge.”

(L.A. County Department of Public Health)
(L.A. County Department of Public Health)

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By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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