LA County reaches more than 20,000 new cases in midst of variant surges

AHEAD of the new year, Los Angeles County reported over 20,000 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, December 30, 2021 in one of the highest daily case counts of the pandemic.

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer reported 20,198 new COVID infections, three times the number of cases from a week ago.

The new cases bring the county’s total since the the pandemic began to 1,669,545. Twenty four COVID-related deaths were also reported, giving the county an overall death toll of 27,625.

“We are, in fact, experiencing the worst of the surge at the moment with the rising number of cases,” Ferrer said on Thursday.

As of December 25th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised estimates on variant prevalence, with Omicron now estimated to account for 59% of all U.S. infections and Delta for 41% of infections.  In the week ending December 18th, 54% of L.A. County sequenced positive cases were Omicron variants.

Public Health is urging residents to scale down New Year’s plans by limiting gatherings to a very small number of people where everyone is fully vaccinated and boosted if eligible. Large, crowded events are just too risky this holiday. Individuals who are sick should remain isolated from others, and everyone should wear a mask, even when indoors, if gathering with people not in your household. Vaccinations and boosters remain the best protection against severe illness and disease from COVID.

“I send my heartfelt condolences to everyone mourning the loss of a loved one to COVID-19,” said Ferrer. “As cases continue to rise, it is important that we all use the tools available to help us curb the spread. As we get ready to welcome the new year, this includes re-thinking party plans, limiting time indoors with non-household members, and isolating from others if feeling sick. And always wear a medical grade mask when in close contact with others outside your household.  With increasing evidence that vaccinated, and where eligible, boosted individuals have significant protection against severe COVID illness, the best way to limit heartache during one of the worst COVID surges, is to get vaccinated and boosted as quickly as possible.”

There are 1,365 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 9,988,700 individuals, with 15% of people testing positive.

Public Health would like to remind residents that getting vaccinated or boosted remains critical as holiday traveling and gatherings begin. Additionally, all residents across LA County should continue:

Getting tested to help reduce the spread, especially if you traveled for the holidays, have had a possible exposure, or have symptoms, or are gathering with people not in your household

Adhering to masking requirements when indoors or at large outdoor mega events, regardless of vaccination status

Residents are also reminded that they are legally required to be isolated if they have a positive COVID test result and that vaccinated close contacts with symptoms and unvaccinated close contacts need to be quarantined.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and are recommended for everyone 5 years old and older to help protect against COVID-19. Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status. Appointments are not needed at all Public Health vaccination sites and many community sites where first, second, and third doses are available.

To find a vaccination site near you, or to make an appointment, please visit: www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) or

If you need assistance, you can also call 1-833-540-0473 for help: Finding an appointment, connecting to free transportation to and from a vaccination site, or scheduling a home visit if you are homebound. (AJPress)

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