• Matt Esnayra

LA County Confirms 1st Case of UK Varient, Surpasses 1M COVID-19 Cases

On Saturday, county health officials confirmed the first case of the more infectious UK variant of the coronavirus and that LA County has surpassed 1 million cases.

Why it matters:

For weeks LA County area hospitals have been pushed to the brink due to a surge of Covid cases since Thanksgiving. The situation became so dire ambulance crews had to conserve oxygen and were told not to bring patients to the hospital who are not breathing after 20 minutes of resuscitation.

  • Public Health reported 253 new deaths and 14,669 new cases of confirmed COVID-19. To date, Public Health has identified 1,003,923 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of LA County and a total of 13,741 deaths.

  • The person who contracted the UK version of coronavirus traveled to Oregon, where he is in quarantine, county officials say.

What's new:

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and Governor Gavin Newsom opened L.A. County's first mass vaccination center at Dodger Stadium. The site is expected to serve 3,000 health care workers on its first day; the site will be able to vaccinate upwards of 12,000 per day by next week, L.A. Mayor's office announced.

Crash course:

  • The LA Times reported that the UK variant was also found in Big Bear and San Diego County.

  • In Canada, health officials in British Columbia have discovered the South African variant in some Covid-19 patients. Scientists and medical professionals view the South African variant of the virus as more dangerous because of the variant's ability to affect the vaccine's effectiveness and increase the chance of reinfection, per CBC News.

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