L.A. County Health Director Tears Up While Speaking About Surge in COVID Deaths: ‘Incalculable Loss’

Los Angeles County health official Dr. Barbara Ferrer got emotional this week while speaking about the rising number of local residents who have lost their lives to the novel coronavirus.

During a briefing on Wednesday, Ferrer teared up as she detailed the “devastating increase in deaths.”

“Over 8,000 people, who were beloved members of their families, are not coming back,” she said with audible tears in her voice. “And their deaths are an incalculable loss to their friends and their family, as well as our community.”

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 75 new deaths on Wednesday — the highest number of daily deaths since July 29. In the past week, the average of daily deaths has increased by over 250 percent.

Just moments earlier, Ferrer also spoke about the “alarming” direction the county was going in terms of new cases, noting that there had been a 300 percent increase from the beginning of November.

“Unfortunately, where we are and where we are headed is quite alarming,” she said, later adding, “As cases have continued to increase the past few weeks, we will bear witness to a significant rise in the number of people who are dying.”

There has also been a significant increase in hospitalizations, which L.A. County Health Services Director, Dr. Christina Ghaly, warned on Wednesday could could lead to a shortage of available beds.

As COVID-19 cases continue to soar, health officials are asking residents to “stay home as much as possible.”

“With much higher rates of virus transmission, it’s critically important,” Ferrer said. “Every time you leave your home and you’re around other people, you are exposed to COVID-19.”

“When there are tens of thousands of infected people out and about each day, there's a significant increase in the probability that among the many encounters each individual has throughout the day, one or more of these will now be with a person who’s infected with the virus,” she added.

As her briefing came to a close, the health official stressed that although the pandemic has gone on for months, it’s crucial to remain vigilant.

“This is the most dangerous time for la county and i do ask everyone to please be extremely careful and diligent in protecting yourself and everyone else,” she said. “You are at risk of becoming infected when you’re out of your home and you’re around other people. so please use every tool we have at our disposal so we can all be as safe as possible.”

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