According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, there were 27,091 new positive COVID cases and 12 deaths.
Cases have nearly doubled in the last two days, and roughly one out of every four people are testing positive, officials said.
“Public Health urges everyone to minimize the risk of transmitting the virus by not hosting or attending large gatherings over this upcoming holiday weekend. Indoor parties, in particular, create significant risk as this virus can be spread through aerosolized droplets,” the release stated.
There were 1,464 patients in county hospital on Friday, up 99 from the day before. Of those, 218 were in intensive care, up four from Thursday.
Friday’s daily positivity rate ticked up nearly a full point overnight to 22.4%. Last month, the rate was less than 1%.
During a briefing on Thursday, L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer and county Supervisor Holly Mitchell urged residents to be cautious as they celebrate New Year’s Eve, with Ferrer noting, “The risk of virus transmission has never been higher in our county.”
Evidence suggests that only those who have recently completed their vaccination series or are boosted have significant protection from becoming infected with the highly contagious Omicron variant, according to Public Health officials.
“The days ahead will be extraordinarily challenging for all us as we face extraordinarily high case numbers reflecting widespread transmission of the virus. In order to make sure that people are able to work and attend school, we all need to act responsibly,” Ferrer said in a statement.
“With explosive transmission likely to continue for some weeks to come, all efforts now need to focus on protecting our health care system from becoming overwhelmed. Since most people in our hospitals with serious illness from COVID are unvaccinated, those not yet vaccinated or boosted need to please stay away from others as much as possible to avoid getting infected or infecting others,” she said.
More than 10,043,000 individuals have been tested since the pandemic began, with 15% having now tested positive. To date, 1,696,582 positive cases have been confirmed, while Friday’s 12 new deaths bring the cumulative figure to 27,637 fatalities.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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