45,000 new cases reported in Los Angeles area over holiday weekend
Los Angeles County reported nearly 45,000 new COVID-19 cases over the holiday weekend.
With 23,553 new cases recorded on Saturday and 21,200 on Sunday, the weekend figures were down from more than 27,000 cases reported on Friday as officials urged residents to celebrate the new year with caution.
“During this surge, given the spread of a more infectious strain of the virus, lapses can lead to explosive transmission,” Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health, said in a statement on Sunday.
“Well-fitting and high-quality masks are an essential layer of protection when people are in close contact with others, especially when indoors or in outdoor crowded spaces where distancing is not possible,” she added.
More than 20 percent of those recently tested for COVID-19 received a positive test result, according to the county’s public health department.
But despite the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant, which was first detected in South Africa in November, only four COVID-19 deaths were reported over the weekend by county officials.
Early studies have indicated that, despite how easily it spreads, the omicron variant is less likely to lead to hospitalization than the delta variant.
Last month, the city of Los Angeles saw cases more than double from 3,052 to more than 6,500 in just one day.
Around that time, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) said that he did not “see a lockdown” coming for the city as case rates already increased.
“I think we’re so much better protected than we were,” the mayor said. “I do think that restrictions such as masking indoors will continue, especially as these cases go up. We’ll have to follow our hospitalizations very carefully.”