By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles County passed another “grim milestone” after the Department of Public Health announced that the region records 2 million total COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.

On Jan. 10, Public Health reported 43,582 new cases and 13 deaths raising the total to 2,010,964 cases and 27,798 deaths. Of the newly reported deaths, all but one were above the age of 49 and nine had underlying conditions.

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“With surging transmission and rapidly rising cases and hospitalizations, our already understaffed health care providers are under enormous strain as they try to care for so many COVID infected people, including those with mild illness who are looking for help and support, with the unintended consequence of compromising response capacity across the entire system,” said Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer.

Once again, hospitalizations increased to 3,472, over 100 from the day before and almost 2,000 more than a week ago. Public Health said that 14% of hospitalizations are in the intensive care unit and 7% are on the ventilator. A little Less than a quarter of all ICU beds have been filled, however, this is an increase of 9% from last week. The ICU admission rate for unvaccinated patients was 21 times higher than among fully vaccinated patients. The hospitalization rate among children remains unchanged from last week.

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“Because high community transmission has the inevitable impact of increasing demand for health care services, the best way to protect health care personnel and our capacity to care for both those with COVID and non-COVID illness, is to double-down on reducing transmission,” said Ferrer.

According to Public Health, while hospitalizations have steadily increased, an analysis of data showed that “many positive cases are admitted for reasons other than COVID.” The department has created a new category called “incidental COVID hospitalizations,” which accounted for about 55% of COVID hospitalizations for the week ending on Dec. 26.

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Public Health asked all residents to continue to get tested and to follow mask mandates “to keep workplaces and schools open.”