Almost a third of LA residents are defying lockdown orders as hospitalizations hit a record high

Almost a third of all Los Angeles residents are defying lockdown orders as hospitalizations hit a record high in the county and there are now no free ICU beds across the whole of Southern California.

Stark data from the University of Southern California’s Center for Economic and Social Research’s Understanding Coronavirus in America tracking survey reveals that around 30 percent of respondents in LA County had visited a friend, neighbor or relative or had welcomed visitors to their home in the last week.

This suggests that a staggering 3 million of LA County’s 10 million residents are breaking the lockdown rules to meet with friends in a social capacity inside homes.  

A total of 28.2 percent of residents had visited a friend, neighbor or relative, while 30.1 percent had visitors at their residence in the last seven days as of December 22. 

This is despite all gatherings with people from other households being banned in the county as cases, hospitalizations and deaths soar.  

Stark data from the University of Southern California's Center for Economic and Social Research's Understanding Coronavirus in America tracking survey reveals that around 30 percent of respondents in LA County had visited a friend, neighbor or relative or had welcomed visitors to their home in the last week

Stark data from the University of Southern California’s Center for Economic and Social Research’s Understanding Coronavirus in America tracking survey reveals that around 30 percent of respondents in LA County had visited a friend, neighbor or relative or had welcomed visitors to their home in the last week

The survey also found that 58.8 percent of people have stayed home in the last week, meaning 41 percent have not

The survey also found that 58.8 percent of people have stayed home in the last week, meaning 41 percent have not

Almost half of LA County residents - 49.3 percent - admitted they have had close contact with non-coresidents in the last week despite lockdown rules that they should not see people outside their household

Almost half of LA County residents – 49.3 percent – admitted they have had close contact with non-coresidents in the last week despite lockdown rules that they should not see people outside their household 

The survey also asked residents if they had stayed home except for essential activities and exercise, as part of the county lockdown rules stating that people must stay home except to travel to and from essential businesses, for essential work or for permitted activities with household members.

It found that 58.8 percent of people have followed this rule and stayed home in the last week, meaning a staggering 41 percent have not. 

Almost half – 49.3 percent – admitted they have had close contact with non-coresidents in the last week, and 22 percent have shared items such as towels or utensils with others. 

The survey also found differing attitudes to the rules by age.

It shows that the 51-64 year old age group was the most likely to break the rules around mixing with people outside their household, with more than half (56.3 percent) saying they had close contact with non-coresidents in the last seven days. 

Perhaps surprisingly, the research found the youngest age group aged 39 and younger had the least contact with non-coresidents with 45.5 percent saying they had done so. 

Hospitalizations hit a record high in LA County Tuesday and there are now no free ICU beds across the whole of Southern California . A patient is rushed to ICU inside Providence Saint John's Health Center in California

Hospitalizations hit a record high in LA County Tuesday and there are now no free ICU beds across the whole of Southern California . A patient is rushed to ICU inside Providence Saint John’s Health Center in California 

A map charting the spread of deaths across LA County. The survey on social trends suggests that a staggering 3 million of LA County's 10 million residents are breaking the lockdown rules to meet with friends in a social capacity inside homes

A map charting the spread of deaths across LA County. The survey on social trends suggests that a staggering 3 million of LA County’s 10 million residents are breaking the lockdown rules to meet with friends in a social capacity inside homes

Another 88 people died taking the total death count passed 9,000 to 9,016. In the last two weeks alone, more than 1,000 people have died from coronavirus in LA County, averaging at around 73 deaths every single day

Another 88 people died taking the total death count passed 9,000 to 9,016. In the last two weeks alone, more than 1,000 people have died from coronavirus in LA County, averaging at around 73 deaths every single day

Hospitalizations reached a record high Tuesday with 5,866 patients, almost double the number just two weeks back. Of those hospitalized, 20 percent are in ICU

Hospitalizations reached a record high Tuesday with 5,866 patients, almost double the number just two weeks back. Of those hospitalized, 20 percent are in ICU

The survey also found that 79.2 percent of respondents had visited a grocery store or pharmacy in the last week – retailers that fall under essential retail and have stayed open at limited capacity. 

Meanwhile, just 1.1 percent of residents have visited a bar, club or other gathering place in the last week. However the opportunity to visit these is narrower with bars and restaurants closed under the safer at home order.  

The USC has carried out the survey each week since April to measure people’s actions during the pandemic.  

The chart spanning the entire time since the survey began shows that the social habits of LA residents have changed very little throughout the pandemic. 

It shows that people were mixing the least with people they didn’t live with back in April with only around 17 percent saying they had visited a friend, neighbor or relative and 15 percent had visitors at their residence.

But since around June the figures have stayed around the 30 percent mark on both metrics.

The data also suggests there has been no marked change in social behavior since LA County went into lockdown on November 30.

On November 29, the day before the safer at home order came into force, 34 percent said they had visited a friend, neighbor or relative in the last week and 34.9 percent had visitors at their residence – only slightly lower than the current rates of around 30 percent. 

LA County Health Services Director Dr. Christina Ghaly begged residents to take the lockdown seriously Monday. 

California's COVID-19 cases are now so high that they are keeping the United States average at a plateau despite the Midwest bringing the rest of the country down, data shows

California’s COVID-19 cases are now so high that they are keeping the United States average at a plateau despite the Midwest bringing the rest of the country down, data shows

‘If you’re still out there shopping for your loved ones for this holiday season or you’re planning a holiday get-together, then you are missing the gravity of the situation that is affecting hospitals across Los Angeles County and California and this nation,’ she said. 

‘People are very sick in the hospitals. They are dying there.

‘Though they may seem benign, these actions are extremely high-risk nd we ask that everyone do everything they can to avoid spreading the virus to avoid prolonging the surge and avoid increasing the number of deaths that families across our county will experience in the days and weeks to come.’

Under the county’s safer at home order put into effect on November 30 – and extended on December 19 – all public and private gatherings and events with individuals not in your household are banned except for worship services and protests.    

So far during the month of December, the LA County Sheriff’s Department said it has made 235 arrests of people at underground parties that flout the health order. 

The apparent lack of compliance with lockdown rules comes as LA County’s hospitals are buckling under the weight of the pandemic.

Hospitalizations reached a record high Tuesday with 5,866 patients, almost double the number just two weeks back. 

Of those hospitalized, 20 percent are in ICU. 

This map, which is included in the latest community report from the White House COVID-19 Task Force, tracks areas of concern on a county level across the country. The majority of counties currently fall into the 'sustained hotspot' category, which means they are communities that have a high number of cases and may be at an even higher risk of overwhelming their local hospitals

This map, which is included in the latest community report from the White House COVID-19 Task Force, tracks areas of concern on a county level across the country. The majority of counties currently fall into the ‘sustained hotspot’ category, which means they are communities that have a high number of cases and may be at an even higher risk of overwhelming their local hospitals

The county also recorded another 12,954 infections Tuesday, taking the tally to 647,542 since the pandemic began. 

Another 88 people died taking the total death count passed 9,000 to 9,016. 

In the last two weeks alone, more than 1,000 people have died from coronavirus in LA County, averaging at around 73 deaths every single day. 

Dr. Elaine Batchlor, CEO of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital in Los Angeles, said patients there have spilled over into the gift shop and five tents outside the emergency department.  

‘We simply will not be able to keep up if the COVID surge continues to increase,’ Kaiser Permanente chairman and CEO Greg Adams said. 

‘We’re at or near capacity everywhere.’  

Across California, 32,659 new cases were confirmed Tuesday and another 653 patients were admitted to hospitals, one of the biggest one-day hospitalization jumps on record, taking the total to 17,843 patients. 

Fears are mounting that the worst is yet to come with a state data model predicting nearly 106,000 hospitalizations in a month if nothing changes. 

In Southern California, ICUs have now reached full capacity. 

‘California is now reporting so many cases that it has kept the country on a case plateau, even as the Midwest declines bring the rest of the country’s cases down,’ the Covid Tracking Project tweeted. 

A new map, which is included in the latest community report from the White House COVID-19 Task Force, shows that California is among the state’s currently seeing the largest acceleration of cases.

The map indicates that almost all counties across the state have seen a rapid increase in infections in the last 14 days.

California is currently the third worst affected states for cases per capita in the country with 111 infections per 100,000 people in the last seven days, the latest CDC data shows.

Tennessee leads with an average of 137 cases per capita and then Oklahoma with 115 cases per 100,000. 

California officials are urging residents to stay home over Christmas after Thanksgiving travel has been blamed for the COVID-19 surge.  

 

 

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