Los Angeles County confirmed two more cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 Friday, including one that was locally acquired, while health officials again stressed that vaccines appear to be effective in preventing serious illness from the variant.
The two new Omicron cases bring the total number confirmed by the county to six. According to the county Department of Public Health, one of the new Omicron patients had recently traveled to several countries in Africa. The Omicron variant was first detected in South Africa, where it is blamed for a rash of infections.
The patient was fully vaccinated, including a booster dose, and developed only mild symptoms. “Multiple” close contacts of the person were identified, but all were vaccinated and all have tested negative, according to the Department of Public Health.
The second new patient had no recent travel history, so the infection has been deemed a case of local transmission of the variant. The person was also fully vaccinated, but without a booster dose, and also developed only mild symptoms, health officials said. At least one of the person’s close contacts has also tested positive and is in isolation. It was unclear if that close contact also has the Omicron variant.
“We anticipate seeing increased numbers of individuals infected with the Omicron variant as we are beginning to see cases of local transmission among residents that have not traveled,” county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “All indications are that among those fully vaccinated, illness severity if infected with Omicron is mild, reminding us that all eligible residents need to urgently get vaccinated or boosted.
“The vaccines are likely to provide much needed protection against serious illness caused by Omicron and are already known to provide protection against infection and disease associated with the Delta variant that continues to dominate across the county,” she said.
The Omicron variant has been deemed a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, it remains unclear if the variant is more easily transmitted or can cause more severe illness. The previously identified Delta variant — blamed for the most recent surge in cases nationwide — remains the dominant mutation in circulation, representing more than 99% of all COVID specimens that have undergone genetic testing in the county, Ferrer said this week.
Ferrer said the county is seeing increases in COVID infections following the Thanksgiving holiday, potentially marking the beginning of a feared winter surge in cases. She said that on Dec. 1, the county’s seven-day average daily number of new cases topped 1,000 — a 19% increase from the previous week. She also noted a resulting increase in hospitalizations, with the daily number of COVID patients nearing roughly 600.
The county’s average daily rate of new infections rose to 13 per 100,000 residents, up from 8 per 100,000 residents a week ago. The seven-day cumulative rate of infections rose to 113 per 100,000, moving the county back into the category of “high” transmission as defined by CDC. The county was previously in the less-severe “substantial” transmission category. That category requires a county to have a cumulative seven-day transmission rate of less than 100 cases per 100,000 residents.
Ferrer acknowledged that with the widespread availability of vaccines and the benefit of more experience preventing and treating infections, the county can be considered to be “much better off” than it was ahead of last winter’s surge that threatened to overwhelm hospitals.
“I don’t want to downplay the fact that we continue to now be back in what the CDC classifies as the tier of `high’ transmission,” she said. “So we have a lot of community transmission going on. And when you have a lot of community transmission going on and there’s lots and lots of opportunities of people intermingling, you run the risk of these numbers just continuing to grow. And every time they grow and we see more and more cases, we all know it results unfortunately in a higher number of people that will end up in the hospital and tragically pass away.”
The county reported another 16 COVID-19 deaths on Friday, raising the death toll to 27,304. Another 1,924 new infections were also reported, giving the county a pandemic total of 1,543,784. According to state figures, there were 684 COVID-19-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals as of Friday, up from 667 on Thursday and continuing an upward trend. The number of those patients being treated in intensive care was 165, up from 158 a day earlier. The rolling average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 1.2% as of Friday.
According to the most recent figures, 83% of county residents aged 12 and over have received at least one dose of vaccine, and 75% are fully vaccinated. Of all eligible residents aged 5 and over, 77% have received at least one dose, and 69% are fully vaccinated. Of the more than 6.15 million fully vaccinated people in the county, 84,931 have tested positive, or about 1.38%. A total of 2,798 vaccinated people have been hospitalized, for a rate of 0.046%, and 537 have died, for a rate of 0.009%.
11 comments for "LA County confirms 2 more Omicron COVID cases"
Garlena Bell-Junious says
Palmdale Regional Hospital is inhumane. I brought my son in tonight who was having bad withdrawals from prescribed medications. They spoke to me as if I were an animal, referring to my son as a user. I know not they did not know us. They put me out of his room and I have waited three hours and they will not allow me to see him. My husband died last year in this hospital. The care here in the antelope valley is the worst I have ever seen. I want to see that he is okay because he was in very bad shape and we only have each other. Please take a moment to speak to me on the treatment at Palmdale Regional Hospital. I will be speaking with city council and all people who care about the people. I have asked for a hospital administrator over and over to no avail. Please help me.
More crap from the Democrats try to control people for the Christmas holiday
Tim Scott says
This Omicron variant looks great. Very highly contagious, so everyone gets it. Pretty harmless to people who have been vaccinated so no sweat to smart people. Just might be the best thing for the gene pool that we could ever hope for.
Decimation of flyover country for Christmas?
You forgot to mention,
It is hospitalizing and killing, wait for it……..
So with that being said,
Your wish for massive death against your political rivals is exactly what it seems to be…
Absolutely ridiculous and shows just how low the left sinks to new levels of absurdity and dehumanization.
Somewhere and somehow folks like you will be able to correct themselves from this disease of hate and divisiveness.
I pray for you.
Tim Scott says
Who said political rivals? “Improve the gene pool” implies the elimination of the willfully ignorant, not those of a particular political slant. Are you suggesting that one party selects for wilful ignorance?
“Stupidity cannot be cured. Stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is death. There is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.”
― Robert Heinlein
I pray for you too.
Thanks for the
Robert Heinlein Drop.
Interesting fellow to say the least. Kinda cool.
Beeceeehaha seems to have Stupidity Tourettes Syndrome.
America's Most Strangest in a Strange Land says
I knew (grokked) you were cultured.