A person in Los Angeles County now dies every eight minutes from the coronavirus, according to health officials.
In December, the figure was every 10 minutes.
A person now dies every 8 minutes from #COVID19 in LA County. Stay home to save lives, always wear a mask when out for essentials and avoid gathering with people you don't live with. pic.twitter.com/unlZvXX8V9— Los Angeles County (@CountyofLA) January 7, 2021
And the state of California for the first time reported a record of 1,042 deaths over a two-day period, while the nation as a whole for the first time reported more than 4,000 deaths in a single 24-hour period.
In Los Angeles County, another 258 deaths were reported Wednesday.
Much of the current surge started in early November after Halloween and was then accelerated by gatherings over the Thanksgiving holiday. Now officials are expecting what they have called a surge-upon-a-surge in January following the winter holiday season, in which millions of Americans traveled and far-too-many gathered together in a single place.
Officials say Los Angeles County is seeing a rate of new daily cases that is nearly double what was seen in December.
Mayor Eric Garcetti again repeated warnings about avoiding gatherings and wearing masks.
"Know that every decision you make affects an emergency room doctor," Garcetti said. "Don't put her or him in the position of having to choose between life and death for one of our neighbors."
The mayor is asking other states to send doctors and nurses to help in Southern California, considered one of the nation's hardest-hit areas right now during the pandemic.