With the Omicron variant continuing to spread at a rapid pace, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health data shows more residents are requiring treatment for severe illness in the ICU.

By mid-week, both the seven-day average of new admissions of people with COVID-19 and the total number of patients admitted into the ICU had increased from a week prior. New daily admissions increased by 9.5 percent to a total of 644 patients, up from 588 patients the week of Jan. 11. Additionally, 31 percent of COVID confirmed patients were in the ICU, and 27 percent were requiring ventilation, which was also an increase from the week of Jan. 11 when Public Health reported 25 percent of COVID confirmed patients were in ICU, and 20 percent were requiring ventilation.

Cases among healthcare workers are also increasing, leading to staffing shortages across the healthcare system.  From Jan.7-13, Public Health had reported 1,268 new positive cases among healthcare workers; this is an increase of 30 percent from the week of Dec. 31, when 973 positive cases were reported. 

With Omicron leading to increasing hospitalizations and ICU admissions, vaccines continue to provide the best protection against severe illness.  Between Dec. 30, 2021 and Jan. 12, 2022, the ICU rate ratio was 6:4 when comparing those unvaccinated vs those fully vaccinated without boosters, meaning unvaccinated people were six times more likely to be admitted to the ICU compared to those fully vaccinated without boosters. Residents who are vaccinated and boosted have even more protection, as they are 25 times less likely to be admitted to the ICU than those unvaccinated.  

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have recognized that while many experience mild illness from COVID, there are others, who we love and need, that will not do well if they become infected,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of Public Health. “And while vaccines and boosters provide powerful protection, those who are older, have serious health conditions, or are immunocompromised remain at higher risk.”

By mid-week, there were a reported 4,701 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 10,695,800 individuals, with 20 percent of people testing positive.   

To find a vaccination site near you, or to make an appointment, please visit: 

www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) or www.VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish). If you need assistance, you can also call (833) 540-0473 for help in finding a testing and vaccination location.

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