LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles County has surpassed one million documented cases of COVID-19.
Public health officials reported 14,669 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the county’s case total to 1,003,923.READ MORE: New COVID Vaccine Site Opening At USC Campus, City Working To Get Doses To Homebound Residents
Another 253 virus-related deaths were also reported, raising the death toll to 13,741.
The number of new daily infections has also been holding steady, just above 14,000 following Christmas and New Year holiday celebrations.
A local ER doctor says the virus is so unpredictable that it’s hard to say if there’s currently a peak in new cases.
“This cannot be the level that we sort of plateau at, 14,000 daily new infections because just playing the numbers game over time, you’re just gonna see a large percentage of those patients end up at the hospital at some point,” said Dr. Micahel Daignault, a physician at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank.
Dr. Daignault says he’ll only have confidence we’ve turned a corner once there’s a noticeable downward trend in infection rates for several months.
“The unfortunate reality is we still have a high mortality rate and that stabilization in numbers, unfortunately, can be due to our friends and our family members passing away,” he said.READ MORE: Poll: LA County Crime Victims Feel Criminal Justice System Failed Them
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health also confirmed the first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, the same variant discovered in the United Kingdom, in an individual who recently spent time in L.A. County.
The new strain doesn’t make people sicker, but it does spread easier.
“There’s more people vaccinated there’s less of a chance that the virus will have an opportunity to mutate and less of a chance for this new strain to become the predominant one and that’s certainly what we don’t want,” Dr. Daignault said.
The individual is a male who traveled to Oregon, where he is currently isolating, health officials said.
Although this is the first confirmed case of the U.K. variant in the county, Public Health officials said they believe that it is already spreading in the community.
The County is stepping up its efforts to get people vaccinated. Doctors say even after you get the shot, it’s still vital to practice social distancing and regular hand washing. Reporting in Sherman Oaks, KC, KCAL9News.MORE NEWS: Driver Speeds Away After Hitting, Killing Woman On Topanga Roadway
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