LA County reports nearly 45,000 new COVID cases over the weekend

Los Angeles County reported nearly 45,000 new COVID-19 cases on New Year’s weekend and two deaths, health officials said.

LA County reported 23,553 new positive COVID cases on Saturday and 21,200 on Sunday, authorities said. More than 20 percent of test takers are found to be virus positive.

Long queues can be seen at walk-in test sites throughout LA as home-based tests fly off the shelves of pharmacies.

Authorities said the rise in positive cases could be blamed on outdoor activities where people had been disguised for long periods of time, as well as congested indoor events.

“During this upswing, given the spread of a more contagious strain of the virus, the breaks could lead to an explosive spread,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of public health in LA County. “Well-fitting and high-quality masks are an essential layer of protection when people are in close contact with others, especially indoors or outdoors in confined spaces where distance is not possible.”

Los Angeles County reports about 45,000 new cases this weekend, including two deaths.
Through the Los Angeles Times Getty Images

Ferrer added: “While masks can be annoying and even uncomfortable for some because many infected people apply COVID 1-2 days before symptoms appear, the physical barrier formed by the mask is known to reduce the spread of virus particles.”

Health officials said 1,628 people in LA County have been hospitalized for COVID-19 and 263 are in intensive care.

Meanwhile, some students will return to school this week for personal learning after the holidays. The Los Angeles Unified School District will begin requiring COVID testing on all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, in the first week after the winter vacation beginning January 10th.

According to health authorities, 1,628 people have been hospitalized for COVID-19 in Los Angeles County.
According to health authorities, 1,628 people have been hospitalized for COVID-19 in Los Angeles County.
Through the Los Angeles Times Getty Images

Although COVID testing is available throughout LA County, it may take a few days after testing due to post-holiday demand. Others decided to take their risks and settled in long queues on Monday.

Health authorities continue to urge people to wear masks and, where possible, upgrade their fabric masks to N95, KN95 or KF94 models.

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