LA COVID Cases More Than Double in a Day: 'Staggeringly Fast Rise'
Pharmacists load syringes with COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 22, 2021, for administration at a pop-up clinic in the international arrivals section of Los Angeles International Airport. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)
By Eric Mack | Wednesday, 22 December 2021 08:32 PM
Los Angeles County reported a ''staggeringly fast rise'' in COVID-19 cases Wednesday, more than doubling to 6,509 from the new case total from just a day before.
''This staggeringly fast rise, and the healthcare system strain that has followed similarly steep increases elsewhere in the world is the cause of our alarm,'' county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told reporters, the Los Angeles Times reported.
''We're headed into a very challenging time over the holiday,'' she added. ''If our case numbers continue to increase at a rapid pace over this week and next, we could be looking at case numbers we've never seen before.''
The health official pointed to the omicron variant for the uptick in infections. The variant was first reported in California just three weeks ago, according to the report.
''The reality is that the vast majority of folks testing positive today are infected with omicron, a more easily transmitted strain of the virus,'' Ferrer added.
Ferrer added warnings for the unvaccinated, too, saying they stand to experience more dangerous symptoms and cases.
From Dec. 5 to 11, the unvaccinated were five times more likely to contract COVID-19, 21 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 18 times more likely to die, according to L.A. data.
Hospitalizations are still relatively modest in recent days, according to the report, but the 770 daily patients Tuesday represented a 35% increase from the start of the month, the Times reported.
Health officials have frequently cautioned from the outset of the pandemic that hospitalizations tend to follow rising infection totals.