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Tale of two surges: Omicron outbreak playing out very differently for LA County hospitals


 

People get tested for COVID-19 at a testing site on the sidewalk of Victory Blvd near Laurel Canyon Blvd in North Hollywood, CA. Monday, Jan 10, 2022. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

People take COVID-19 rapid tests on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022 at an expanded walk-up and drive-thru testing site in the former Boeing parking lot in Long Beach. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

People wait in line on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022 at an expanded walk-up and drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in the former Boeing parking lot in Long Beach. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

Vehicles meander around cones on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022 at an expanded drive-thru and walk-up testing site in the former Boeing parking lot in Long Beach. (Photo by Howard Freshman, Contributing Photographer)

People get tested for COVID-19 at a testing site on the sidewalk of Victory Blvd near Laurel Canyon Blvd in North Hollywood, CA. Monday, Jan 10, 2022. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

People get tested for COVID-19 at a testing site on the sidewalk of Victory Blvd near Laurel Canyon Blvd in North Hollywood, CA. Monday, Jan 10, 2022. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

Custodian Antoinette Vega hands out COVID-19 testing kits Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, at Rail Ranch Elementary School in Murrieta. Kits were available for each student enrolled in the Murrieta Valley Unified School District. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

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A tale of two surges was laid out by Los Angeles County Public Health officials to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Jan. 11. While this season’s outbreak has not killed as many people or forced as many into hospitals, it is spurring its own array of challenges.

Meanwhile, the daily caseload numbers continue to skyrocket, with 34,827 new positive cases and 15 deaths posted Tuesday, pushing the totals since the pandemic began to 2,046,208 and 27,812, respectively.

Hospitalizations are soaring in the county, though they have not climbed to the levels of last year’s winter coronavirus surge, the healthcare scenario is evolving quite differently this time than in earlier surges, according to Dr. Christina Ghaly, the county’s health services director.

Since Dec. 10, county hospitals have seen COVID-positive hospitalizations increase by 500%. The current upswing, fueled by the highly transmissible omicron variant, propelled the number of people being treated in hospitals for COVID-related conditions to 3,766 on Tuesday, an increase of 294 from Monday, according to the state’s database. Occupying intensive care beds are 513 people, an increase of 31 — just over 13% of patients.

Last fall, one-third of COVID patients required ICU care, but that number is only about 10-15% this time around, at least in the four county-operated hospitals, which likely reflect conditions in other medical centers, Ghaly said.

Ghaly said that about 40% of COVID-positive patients at the county hospitals were admitted specifically because of the virus, while the rest only learned they …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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