Los Angeles virus cases surpass 500,000 amid 'Thanksgiving surge'

The county also reported 50 new deaths, bringing the total to 8,199. PHOTO: NYTIMES

LOS ANGELES (BLOOMBERG) - The Greater Los Angeles area reported another record day of coronavirus cases on Friday (Dec 11), with infections surpassing 500,000 in what health officials say is a "Thanksgiving surge".

The data, coming two weeks after millions travelled across the country for the Thanksgiving break, showed that one in 20 people in the most populous United States county had been infected by the virus.

The number of total cases increased by 13,815 to 501,635.

The county, home to the highest number of infections and fatalities in the US, also reported 50 new deaths, bringing the total to 8,199.

"These numbers are overwhelming," the county's director of public health Barbara Ferrer, said in a statement. "The impact of the Thanksgiving surge of cases on top of already rising cases is creating extraordinary stress on our healthcare system. When we see increases in cases, we see increases in hospitalisations about two weeks later."

Los Angeles is in week two of its second lockdown and is part of a region in California that has imposed more restrictions through the holiday season.

Hospitalisations in the Golden State are at their highest since the start of outbreak, reducing the availability of intensive-care unit beds to a new low.

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