Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, an estimated 1 in 3 people in Los Angeles has been infected with COVID-19, according to a report released this week by Los Angeles County Health Services.
The 1 in 3 estimate means roughly 3 million of the county’s 10 million residents have been infected with COVID-19 — more than triple the number that has been confirmed through testing.
Additionally, the report also estimated that 1 in 115 people in the county is currently infectious with the novel virus, an increase from 1 in 125 a week prior.
“Your infection could lead to dozens of other infections in just a matter of a few days and someone along that path of transmission could very well die from COVID-19,” Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer recently said, per the Los Angeles Times. “These are just not normal times and so we can’t go out and just continue to act like nothing is going on.”
The news comes a week after health officials said that a person is dying every eight minutes from COVID-19.
In total, Los Angeles County has seen nearly 13,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic, with emergency services recently being directed to ration oxygen supplies and paramedics advised to avoid bringing patients who have little chance of resuscitation to hospitals. In the past week alone, the county has seen some 15,000 new cases of COVID-19 a day.
A LifeLine Ambulance arrives at the CHA Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles.AP
Roger Lewis, the director of COVID-19 hospital demand modeling for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, told the newspaper that an estimated 75 percent of the county will need to be vaccinated against the virus to achieve herd immunity.
Earlier this month, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that the COVID-19 vaccine administration process in the state is going “too slowly,” with slow vaccine rollout being an ongoing issue in most other states as well.
“We are working aggressively to accelerate our pace,” Newsom said at the time when just 1 percent of the state’s total population had received the first dose. “You’re going to start seeing more rapid distribution of this vaccine, I can assure you that now.”
The news comes as the nation surpassed the 11 million mark in terms of COVID-19 shots administered — still far less than half the doses distributed, however and days after the Trump administration urged states to open coronavirus vaccine distribution to wider groups, including those 65 and older, in an effort to speed such efforts.