As the Omicron variant crops across the region, Los Angeles is seeing significant and sustained jumps in Covid cases, test positivity rates and hospitalizations.
Los Angeles County reported another 1,772 new cases on Wednesday. Last Tuesday the number was 843. That’s a more 100% rise in a little over one week. The 7-day average of new cases of the past week is 1,668. That comes after cases had hovered around 700 in the week before. And it wasn’t just new cases.
The 7-day test positivity rate in the region has likewise risen 36% from 1.1% one week ago to 1.5% today. Hospitalization in L.A. ended their weeks-long decline and began trending upward about two weeks ago, rising from 551 on November 24 to 650 today. State figures, which are often a day ahead, have county hospitalizations up to 667. The number of those patients being treated in intensive care was 151, up from 149 a day earlier. There were 15 Covid-related deaths recorded on Wednesday.
COVID-19 Daily Update:
December 8, 2021
New Cases: 1,772 (1,540,200 to date)
New Deaths: 15 (27,275 to date)
Current Hospitalizations: 650 pic.twitter.com/AXJ682w997
— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) December 9, 2021
It’s unclear whether the recent rise is a long-feared fourth wave caused by Delta, or an increase caused by widespread (but undetected) transmission of the new Omicron variant.
To date, there have been three instances of the Omicron variant detected in Los Angeles (including one in Long Beach).
Earlier today, the World Health Organization issued a series of warnings today about the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, among them that, “We are now starting to see a consistent picture of rapid increase in transmission.”
The purpose of the warnings, in part, was to urge countries to “act now” to implement countermeasures. “If countries wait until their hospitals start to fill up, it’s too late,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Cases in South Africa have skyrocketed more than 1400% in the two weeks since Omicron was first identified there, according to local health department statistics. The country’s test positivity rate (usually an average over the past 7 days) has grown to 26%, its National Institute for Communicable Diseases reported today.
City News Service contributed to this report.