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One in five people tested for COVID-19 in Los Angeles are positive — as the region grapples with an alarming outbreak that officials have called a “human disaster.”
The test positivity rate climbed to 21 percent in Los Angeles County, which recorded 9,142 new cases on Monday, Patch Los Angeles reported.
“That is a human disaster, and one that was avoidable,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis said.
While Monday’s figures were lower than the record highs seen in recent weeks, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer warned that the current health crisis is likely worse than known due to lags in reporting from the holiday weekend.
“We’re likely to experience the worst conditions in January that we’ve faced the entire pandemic,” Ferrer said.
“And that’s hard to imagine. In slightly more than one month, we doubled the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19.”
So far, there have been at least 827,000 confirmed infections in the county since the pandemic began, officials said.
Many intensive care units are now at capacity in Los Angeles as at least 6,000 patients are currently hospitalized for coronavirus, according to county data.
Los Angeles County Health Services Director Dr. Christina Ghaly, who oversees four hospitals, said that “the worst is almost surely ahead of us,” Deadline reported.
“Hospitalizations are at highest number we’ve seen yet during the pandemic, and it just continues to grow and grow,” Ghaly said.
“Many hospitals have reached a point of crisis and are having to make hard decisions about critical care,” she added.