Long Beach, California – On Friday, COVID-19 instances in Long Beach and Los Angeles County also broke records, with one in four people in Long Beach being infected.
According to the city, 1,720 new cases were registered, with a positive rate of around 24.6 percent – an increase from just 3 percent just two weeks earlier. The city has recorded 6,274 instances in only one week, compared to an overall total of 8,309 cases in the whole month of December.
The number of new cases per 100,000 people increased to almost 204 per 100,000 residents, smashing the previous record of 170 recorded on Thursday.
In January 2021, the positive rate in Long Beach reached 17.8 percent, and the daily instances reached 141.6, both records that were broken by the current outbreak. By June of last year, the positive rate had dropped below 1% and the daily instances had reached a low of one.
Los Angeles County, on the other hand, recorded 43,712 new cases and 28 virus-related deaths as of Friday afternoon.
The city has had 81,729 cases and the county has had 1,887,526 infections during the pandemic.
According to state data, there were 2,902 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals as of Friday, which corresponded to the expected increase in case numbers. This is an increase over the previous day’s total of 2,661.
There were 391 individuals admitted to hospitals, an increase from 352 the day before. The majority of them were being treated in intensive care units.
Long Beach did not record any new fatalities, but the number of people admitted to hospitals continues to grow, hitting 258 on Friday, up from 235 the day before. The number of hospitalizations on Friday has increased by more than 500% since mid-December.
As of Friday, according to Jennifer Rice Epstein, a spokesperson for the health department, more than 66 percent of people admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 had not received a vaccination. Additionally, approximately 99 percent of patients admitted to hospitals with the virus had not gotten their vaccine booster, according to Epstein’s findings.
According to the city’s coronavirus dashboard, more than 70% of eligible Long Beach residents aged 5 and up are fully immunized, with adults accounting for 77.4 percent of those who are fully vaccinated.
An increasing number of hospitalizations occurring throughout the county is causing anxiety among residents. Due in part to COVID infections among health care workers, health care facilities are facing a personnel shortage.
According to county Department of Public Health data, 973 infections among health care employees were recorded in the last week, a 47 percent increase from the previous week. That increase occurs despite a relatively high incidence of vaccination among healthcare personnel, demonstrating the ability of the omicron version of the virus to infect even those who have received vaccination, but they are less likely to get very sick as a result of the virus.
All health-care professionals in the state are required to obtain a booster dose of the vaccination by February 1, according to the state. Those who do not obtain the booster must be tested twice a week for the rest of their lives.
According to the county’s Public Health Director, Barbara Ferrer, “keeping health care workers safe is critical to maintaining efficiency across our health care facilities when surges lead in staffing shortages and rising rates of hospitalization. Across multiple healthcare settings, our health care personnel have given their all and been fully vaccinated at high levels for many months.”
According to county data provided Thursday, of the more than 6.4 million people in the county who have been fully vaccinated, 199,314 have tested positive for the virus, representing a 3.1 percent infection rate, while 3,348 have been admitted to hospitals, representing a 0.05 percent infection rate. A total of 625 people who were completely vaccinated died, representing a mortality rate of 0.01 percent.
Despite this, the rate of testing positive may be driven up because of the large number of people who use take-home tests and do not disclose the findings to the authorities. In all, 79 percent of eligible county residents aged 5 and older had gotten at least one dose of vaccination, with 71 percent having received all recommended doses of vaccination.
75 percent of the county’s total population of 10.3 million people had gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, with 67 percent having received all three doses.