L.A. Covid Cases to Reach 500,000 by Year-End at Current Pace

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Covid-19 cases in Los Angeles will reach 500,000 by the end of the year based on the current pace of infection, and deaths could surpass 11,000, Mayor Eric Garcetti said.

One in 20 people in the greater Los Angeles area will be infected by the coronavirus, he said. The county reported 8,860 new cases Friday, an all-time high, and 60 new fatalities. A record 2,668 Covid patients are currently hospitalized as admissions doubled from two weeks ago, with almost a quarter in intensive care.

“We’re perilously close to running out of ICU beds,” Garcetti said in a briefing, calling the outbreak “the greatest threat to lives in Los Angeles.”

The latest projection comes two days after Garcetti issued an order for residents to stay at home, warning that the city is approaching a “devastating tipping point” in its fight against Covid-19. Los Angeles County -- an area of 10 million that includes the city -- has 430,583 Covid cases and 7,842 deaths, the highest in the U.S.

Only 25 countries have more than half a million infections now. Los Angeles’ current case load already puts it ahead of nations including Pakistan -- which has 20 times more people -- as well as Canada and Saudi Arabia.

While the city and county have set less stringent rules than the previous lockdown, such as keeping beaches and golf courses open, the mayor reiterated a firm message ahead of the holiday season: “Let’s cancel our plans. Let’s stay home and stay healthy.”

At this rate of infection, Los Angeles will be out of hospital beds in two to four weeks, he said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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