By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Though it’s a new year, similar concerns were mounting from the previous year as COVID-19 cases continued to climb across the Southland.

The latest state figures from Saturday show the number of coronavirus patients in LA County hospitals rose 1,628, which was up more than 160 since the previous day. Of those patients, 246 were in intensive care, up sharply from Friday.

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As of Friday, the Department of Public Health recorded more than 27,000 new coronavirus cases. That was far more than last winter’s peak of 16,000 cases a day. The daily totals have been doubling every two days.

Compared to last winter, those testing positive are much younger. Nearly three-quarter are under the age of 50. COVID case rates are rising among people of all vaccination statuses, but the unvaccinated are still among those to test positive.

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“I think what we can expect that, we’re going to have a peak in about two weeks, so by mid-January, we hope we will see a peak in cases, and then we’ll see just as rapid a decline,” said Dr. Michael Daignault of Providence St. Joseph Medical Center. “But that means the rest of January is going to be rough.”

Other county numbers were also on the rise. State figures show coronavirus patients in Orange County hospitals increased from 453 to 491. Of those, 89 patients were in intensive care.

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Elsewhere, in Riverside County, the number of coronavirus patients hospitalized increased to 510, with 94 patients in the ICU.