New cases of coronavirus reach nearly 9,000 in LA County

Los Angeles County on Sunday reported nearly 9,000 new cases of coronavirus and seven related deaths – marking a continuing wave of infections fueled by the highly contagious Omicron variant that officials recently encouraged to extend testing options and that has upended a second year of holiday plans for many families.

LA County announced 8,891 new cases on Sunday compared to 11,930 on Saturday, but officials warned that the latest figures may not be complete due to holiday and weekend reporting delays. The latest figure represents a significant increase in the case count early last week, when officials reported 3,258 new cases on Monday.

Officials have several times asked caution the last few days, encouraging people to scale back holiday plans, test for get together with family and, most importantly, continue to rely on the best tools available: faxes, boosters and masks.

Even with 67% of Californians fully vaccinated, officials have warned of breakthrough cases of vaccinated people being infected with the Omicron variant, now the dominant strain of the virus.

Testing creates another layer of protection, and county health officials have recently re-launched a test-collection program at home involving residents who have COVID-19 symptoms and those who believe they have been exposed to the virus to request a nasal test swab kit that will be delivered within two days.

The rise in infections is happening in a large part of the state and nation.

California averaged more than 11,900 new cases last week, an increase of nearly 73% compared to two weeks ago, and more than 3,700 people are currently hospitalized with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the state, a almost 10% increase from two weeks ago, according to Hospital record tracker from The Times. In LA County, officials said 849 people are currently hospitalized.

An estimated 5.1 million Californians have recovered from COVID-19 or are no longer infected, according to a common statistical method applied by The Times. Roughly 120,000 cases remain active.

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