New surge? LA County seeing highest number of COVID-19 cases since August

Rob Hayes Image
Saturday, December 18, 2021
LA County seeing new increase in coronavirus infections
Los Angeles County reported 3,360 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the highest number since August.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County is apparently seeing a holiday surge in COVID-19 cases, reporting its highest number of daily infections in nearly four months.

The county reported 3,360 new cases in its daily update issued Friday. That daily case number had previously remained consistently below 3,000 since late August.

The county also reported 27 additional deaths from COVID-19, and 772 people currently hospitalized. Hospitalizations hadn't been over 700 since early October.

The increase is coming as the omicron variant is making its way across the country, now detected in 39 states. Riverside County is also reporting its first case of the variant.

The latest repercussion: The NFL has rescheduled at least three games because of high numbers of players testing positive. The includes the Rams-Seahawks game which had been set for Sunday at SoFi Stadium but is now pushed back to Tuesday.

Nearly 30 Rams players are in COVID protocols, including stars Odell Beckham Jr., Von Miller and Jalen Ramsey.

Other leagues are also seeing COVID delays as well. The Anaheim Ducks game against the Flames which had been set for Tuesday in Calgary has been postponed for COVID-related reasons, with no new date announced yet.

Los Angeles County is fighting back against the increase with new sets of rules for attendance at large gatherings.

Stricter COVID-19 protocols to get into large events in LA County start today

The concern over the rise in COVID-19 cases is prompting L.A. County to implement stricter protocols regarding large events. Here's what you need to know.

Starting Friday, if you want to get into any kind of mega event, either inside or outdoors, you'll need to show proof of being fully vaccinated, or recent negative test results. If you get an antigen test, it has to be within one day of the event, while for a PCR test it's two days.

"While things are definitely not going in the direction we want them to, we do have more tools to help protect ourselves this year than we did at this time last year, but we urgently need to use them," said county health director Barbara Ferrer.

But even getting a rapid test is turning out to be more challenging these days.

While the Dodger Stadium parking lot has reopened as a testing site, many local drugstores are out of stock for the at-home test kits.

Local leaders are reminding residents to be vigilant during the holidays.

"Get boosted," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. "Get vaccinated if you still haven't. And make sure you practice the safe social distancing so we'll get through the holidays without the deaths we saw last year."