L.A. County Again Breaks Record for New COVID-19 Cases and Hospitalizations

Confirmed and suspected hospitalized COVID-19 cases. | Graph courtesy of County of Los Angeles Public Health

Public Health confirms L.A. County’s first MIS-C death in a child

Los Angeles County continues to break its own COVID-19 records.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 12,819 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, surpassing the previous high of 10,528 new coronavirus cases reported Sunday.

There are 3,433 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized, the most the county has seen since the beginning of the pandemic. Of these patients, 23% are in the ICU. Just in the past two days, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has increased by more than 300.

“Like a speeding car approaching a cliff, if we do not rapidly change course, we are in jeopardy of catastrophic consequences with our hospitals being overwhelmed and severely ill patients not able to get the care they need,” Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer for the L.A County Department of Public Health, warned during a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of Public Health, echoed Simon’s worry.

“If a non-household family member or friend invites you over to spend time together, please kindly decline,” Ferrer advised Thursday. “Without more people following the Public Health safety guidance, we are running a risk that could have catastrophic consequences, with hospitals becoming overwhelmed and severely ill patients not able to get the care they need.”

Hospitalized confirmed COVID-19 cases in ICU. | Graph courtesy of County of Los Angeles Public Health

L.A. County continues to experience a high number of new deaths, reporting 74 new deaths Thursday, and more new cases each day than at any point during the pandemic.

Public health officials also confirmed that a child hospitalized for multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) died, the first such reported death in L.A. County. MIS-C is the inflammatory condition associated with COVID-19 that can damage multiple organ systems, require hospitalization, and be life-threatening. The child reportedly had severe underlying health conditions.

“It is heart breaking that everyday more people are losing loved ones to COVID-19 and tragically a L.A. County child has passed away from this deadly disease,” said Ferrer. “I send my deepest sympathies to everyone who is mourning a loved one lost to COVID-19. Please know we keep you in our thoughts and prayers.”

To date, Public Health has confirmed 45 children with MIS-C in L.A. County. All were hospitalized and 50% of the children were treated in the ICU. Of the children with MIS-C, 27% were under the age of 5 years old, 38% were between the ages of 5 and 11 years old, and 35% were between the ages of 12 and 20 years old. Latino/Latinx children account for 73% of the reported cases.

MIS-C symptoms include fever that does not go away and inflamed body parts, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. If you believe your child is displaying MIS-C symptoms, contact your primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, dial 2-1-1 and L.A. County will help connect you to one.

December 11, 2020

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