Los Angeles becomes first US county to hit 1 million COVID-19 cases

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Los Angeles has become the first county in the nation to record more than 1 million coronavirus cases, health officials said.

More than 14,669 new cases were reported on Saturday, bringing its total count to 1,003,923, the Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Health said.

The grim milestone comes as there are 7,597 people currently hospitalized with the virus and have been at least 13,741 deaths.

“Our community is bearing the brunt of the winter surge, experiencing huge numbers of cases, hospitalizations and deaths, five times what we experienced over the summer,” Barbara Ferrer, who is director of the county’s Department of Public Health.

Health officials on Saturday also confirmed its first case of the new strain of coronavirus first detected in the United Kingdom.

The patient is a man who recently spent time in the county and now has traveled to Oregon, where he is isolating.

“This more contagious variant makes it easier for infections to spread at worksites, at stores, and in our homes,” Ferrer said. “We are in the midst of a public health emergency so please do everything you can to protect yourselves and those you love.”

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