State Watch

LA becomes first county to reach over 1 million COVID-19 cases

Los Angeles County has recorded over 1 million coronavirus infections, becoming the first county in the U.S. to reach the grim milestone.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 1,003,923 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, and a total of 13,741 deaths.

Earlier this week, the county estimated that 1 in 3 residents have contracted the disease since the pandemic began, meaning that at least 3 million residents may have been infected.

The department also confirmed the first case of the more contagious COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, which was first discovered in the U.K., in a male who had spent time in the county and traveled to Oregon, where he is quarantining.

Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health said in a statement that the presence of the variant is "troubling," adding that "our healthcare system is already severely strained with more than 7,500 people currently hospitalized."

"Our community is bearing the brunt of the winter surge, experiencing huge numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths, five-times what we experienced over the summer," Ferrer said.  "This more contagious variant makes it easier for infections to spread at worksites, at stores, and in our homes."

"We are in the midst of a public health emergency so please do everything you can to protect yourselves and those you love," Ferrer continued.


The grim milestone comes as California continues to lead the nation in coronavirus infections. The state reported 2.9 million cumulative cases on Saturday, and a total of 23,960 fatalities.

Texas and Florida follow California in highest cumulative cases with 2 million and 1.5 million cases respectively, according to NBC News. New York follows after those states with 1.2 million cases.