Los Angeles County shattered its daily record for coronavirus cases Sunday, Dec. 6 as another 10,528 infections were reported, the fifth time in the past six days that a new record has been set.
The county also reported 23 additional deaths, bringing the county’s totals to 449,851 cases and 7,909 fatalities. The number of county residents hospitalized with the virus, already at an all-time high, rose from 2,769 on Saturday to 2,855.
Long Beach, meanwhile, said 525 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Saturday—the highest total in a single day since the pandemic began. The five hospitals that serve the city now have 163 people hospitalized for the virus, an increase of 462% since Nov. 1.
The staggering numbers came with the entire Southern California region hours away from sweeping new health restrictions intended to stem the rapidly increasing number of hospitalizations and prevent intensive care units from being stretched to the breaking point. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “regional stay-at-home” order goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, triggered when intensive-care unit bed availability fell below 15% in the 11-county Southern California region.
The region’s available ICU capacity was at 10.3% on Sunday, down from 12.5% Saturday and 13.1% on Friday. The Southern California region consists of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Imperial, Inyo, Mono, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.
The stay-at-home order will be in place for three weeks and will bar gatherings of people from different households. Regions will be eligible to exit from the order on Dec. 28 if ICU capacity projections for the following month are above or equal to 15%.
“This week, almost 49,000 people tested positive for COVID-19,” county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said on Saturday. “We can anticipate based on our experience, that 10% of newly infected individuals are likely to require hospital care a couple of weeks from now. That translates to close to 5,000 patients, and if even 20% of these patients need care in the ICU, they will require 1,000 staffed ICU beds. This is our likely reality in two weeks.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information on COVID-19 cases from the city of Long Beach.