L.A. County Public Health officials recorded a single-day high of 27,091 positive COVID-19 cases, Friday.

With the Omicron variant spreading faster than its predecessors, L.A. Public Health is asking residents to “curtail” any New Year’s Eve celebrations, adding that indoor parties increase the risk of the virus being spread.

“The days ahead will be extraordinarily challenging for all us as we face extraordinarily high case numbers reflecting widespread transmission of the virus.  In order to make sure that people are able to work and attend school, we all need to act responsibly,” Director of Public Health, Dr. Barbara Ferrer said. “With explosive transmission likely to continue for some weeks to come, all efforts now need to focus on protecting our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.

Ferrer also added that individuals who have not been fully vaccinated, or taken a booster when eligible, are most “vulnerable” to severe disease.

“Since most people in our hospitals with serious illness from COVID are unvaccinated, those not yet vaccinated or boosted need to please stay away from others as much as possible to avoid getting infected or infecting others,” Ferrer said.  “And while vaccines and boosters continue to offer excellent protection against severe illness and death, those most vulnerable to serious consequences should they become infected (including children under 5 not yet able to get vaccinated) need to be surrounded by additional layers of protection.  This includes wearing tight fitting and high-quality masks when around others and limiting non-essential activities.”

The new high comes a day after recording 20,000 positive cases and thousands of Angelenos rushing to COVID-19 test sites before the New Year’s Eve holiday.

At the previous peak of the pandemic in January, L.A. County averaged 15,000 cases a day, with more than 8,000 hospitalizations and hundreds of daily deaths.

While the positive cases have catapulted past the previous highs, COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations have not matched the January records. On Friday, 1,365 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 and 12 deaths were recorded.

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