By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — On Wednesday, Los Angeles County reported over 16,000 new COVID-19 cases, nearly double the amount reported nearly a week ago.

On Dec. 23, the Department of Public Health reported 8,633. Now, the agency reported 16,510, one of the highest daily case counts of the pandemic. Within nearly a week, test positivity rates have also doubled from 8.7% to 17.6% and hospitalizations are up 30% with 1,069. The county also reported 25 new deaths, 21 of whom had underlying conditions. The vast majority of the newly reported deaths were above 50 years old. Only one of the reported deaths was between the age of 30-49. This report includes one death from Long Beach.

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Two weeks ago, on Dec. 15, there were 1,850 new cases and 751 hospitalizations. There have not been over 1,000 hospitalizations because of COVID-19 since Sept. 20.

The Delta and Omicron variants of the virus have fueled this surge in cases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised their estimates on variant prevalence and determined that Omicron accounts for 59% — and Delta 41% — of all cases in the country since Christmas.

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“I send my heartfelt condolences to everyone mourning the loss of a loved one to COVID-19,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health. “As cases continue to rise, it is important that we all use the tools available to help us curb the spread.”

Officials recommended residents adjust their New Year’s plans by only gathering with a “very small number of people” all of whom should be “fully vaccinated and boosted if eligible.”

“As we get ready to welcome the new year, this includes re-thinking party plans, limiting time indoors with non-household members, and isolating from others if feeling sick,” said. Ferrer. “And always wear a medical grade mask when in close contact with others outside your household.”

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