LA County reports 2,138 new COVID cases, 26 deaths Wednesday

Los Angeles County logged 2,138 new COVID-19 cases and 26 additional virus-related deaths on Wednesday, Jan. 4, while hospitalizations related to the coronavirus maintained a weeklong trend of hovering around 1,200.

The data released Wednesday by the L.A. County Department of Public Health came a day after the agency reported nearly 7,000 new COVID-19 cases over the long holiday weekend, along with 62 more virus-related deaths.

A day-over-day comparison between Wednesday’s and Tuesday’s case counts would not be relevant, as the county was still reporting Tuesday’s number as 575 — with the warning that the number reflects an undercount because of a lag from weekend reporting.

Monday’s new case count was 1,035 and Sunday’s 1,837, with both numbers also believed to be undercounts.

The number of new cases reported each day is also, typically, an undercount of actual virus activity because many residents rely on at-home tests without reporting the results, while others don’t test at all.

Wednesday’s data brought the county’s case count from throughout the pandemic to 3,640,865, while the 26 additional deaths raised the county’s cumulative total to 34,756.

The number of people in L.A. County hospitalized with the coronavirus stood at 1,262 on Wednesday — continuing a steady run in that range.

The daily positivity rate, based on a seven-day average, was 14.9%, down from Tuesday’s 15.4%. The rate has ranged between 14% and 15% percent in recent days.

L.A. County remains in the federal government’s “medium” transmission range. Masks are still required indoors at health-care and congregate-care facilities, for anyone exposed to the virus in the past 10 days, and at businesses where they are required by the owner. Otherwise, they are only strongly recommended at indoor settings.

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During a briefing last week, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said she was “hopeful that we can get through this winter without the devastation witnessed during our previous two winter surges, while recognizing that there are still significant risks, especially with the potential of a new COVID strain.”

“We can kick off 2023 in a positive way,” she added, “by taking some common-sense precautions during upcoming celebrations.”

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