January 27, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

9,000 COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County, 23,000 in California

With the coronavirus surging and hospitals filling, Los Angeles County has hit another grim milestone this week: surpassing 9,000 total deaths.

Los Angeles County on Tuesday tallied 96 new deaths, the third highest single-day count. The county is now averaging 85 deaths a day over the last week, a record.

The numbers underscore how as COVID-19 spreads unchecked across Los Angeles County, deaths are rapidly increasing.

“Unfortunately, today marks another tragic milestone as we acknowledge and grieve the more than 9,000 residents that have passed away from COVID-19. 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,” L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement Tuesday.

More than 23,000 Californians have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began, a milestone crossed Tuesday. Over the last 14 days, more than 3,000 have died — a staggering number that accounts for 13% of the state’s 23,303 total fatalities.

Those numbers serve as a “sober, sober reminder of how deadly this disease is, and how tragic the loss of every life is,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday.

On Tuesday, 375 deaths were reported statewide, according to a county-by-county tally conducted by The Times, marking the second worst death toll in a single day, just short of the record recorded Dec. 16, when 394 deaths were recorded.

Fresno County reported 89 deaths Tuesday; previously, the largest number of fatalities it reported in a single day was 28, which happened Dec. 11. Fresno County is now reporting nearly 2,000 new coronavirus cases a day over the last week, nearly seven times worse than the comparable number from Thanksgiving.

Fresno County is now averaging 13 deaths a day from COVID-19 over the last seven days; the comparable number from Thanksgiving was two deaths a day.

On Monday, the most recent day for which complete data are available, there were record-high numbers statewide of COVID-19 hospitalizations — 17,843 — and patients in intensive care — 3,755.

In L.A. County, home to 10 million people, a point-in-time survey found that there were 30 available ICU beds as of 9 a.m. Sunday. A similar tally last week found 69.

“Today, we’re over 100% of our usual patient volume, and of that volume, 52% of our inpatients are patients diagnosed with COVID,” Greg Adams, chairman and chief executive of Kaiser Permanente, said Tuesday. “Sixteen of our 36 hospitals are already above 100% occupancy in our ICUs. We’re struggling to add capacity for COVID patients as we speak.”

Already, hospitals are having to step up measures to ensure that the sickest patients get the highest level of care possible. That includes moving some patients who would typically be in the ICU to other areas of the hospital, such as a recovery area, or keeping them in the emergency room for longer than normal.