LOS ANGELES, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- A new stay-at-home order took effect Monday in Los Angeles as confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the most populous county in the United States exceeded 400,000.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 5,150 new cases of COVID-19 and 17 new deaths in a daily release, bringing the metropolitan area's count to 400,919 cases and death toll to 7,655. Los Angeles county is home to 10 million people.
Public health officials said the latest daily count "is far higher than the County's peak number of daily cases during the summer surge, which averaged 2,950 cases on July 14."
There are 2,185 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized in the county, with 24 percent in the ICU. This is more than two times the average seen on Nov. 13 when the daily number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 was 974, according to the department.
The department said it remains concerned not only about the people suffering from COVID-19, but about how increasing hospitalizations could overwhelm the healthcare system.
Officials noted that although the county has adequate capacity at hospitals and extensive plans in place to manage the increases, a continued surge in cases and hospitalizations is not sustainable.
Officials said it's very possible that within a week, the county will see the daily number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 near 2,500.
Los Angeles County public health director Barbara Ferrer warned the county is "at the most difficult moment time in the pandemic."
"The alarming increases in cases that we continue to witness is not due to random events out of our control - many of these cases could have been prevented if individuals and businesses were following the straightforward public health measures of masking, distancing and infection control," said Ferrer in the daily release.
"As we are all seeing, when even relatively small numbers of businesses and individuals fail to adhere to sensible precautions, many others experience the consequences of these lapses," she added. Enditem