Roughly 10 people in LA County testing positive for COVID-19 every minute on average

On average, roughly 10 people in LA County are testing positive for COVID-19 every minute.

"This is the time to be extremely cautious and very careful," says Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

Ferrer notes the 15,000 or so county residents testing positive every day were capable of infecting others before they had any symptoms or found out they were positive.

It's now recommended that people wear a face covering at home and take other precautions, if they go out and have contact with others and live with someone who's elderly or otherwise especially vulnerable to serious illness from COVID-19.

"We cannot lighten up our efforts yet. Not now and not for the next several weeks," she says.

COVID-related hospitalizations have leveled off but at very high levels. Hospitals are struggling and another wave of patients is expected soon.

"We're watching the data very carefully over the next couple of days. As this is the time when we would anticipate beginning to see the surge of patients from the recent Christmas and New Year's holidays," says Dr. Christina Ghaly, the county's health services director.

She says despite some help from the state and the military, all hospitals in the county are facing staffing shortages.