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Los Angeles County Public Health officials continue to report a coronavirus surge, but data suggests that vaccines remain critical in the protection against the most severe outcomes from COVID-19 infections. 

In a news release shared on their website and social media, Department of Public Health officials said that L.A. County reported 21,790 new cases on Tuesday. 

On Monday, hospitalizations rose to 1,729, and more than 22.5% of those getting tested are positive for COVID-19.  

This brings the Los Angeles County total to 1,780,154 cases, and the number of deaths increased by 24 from Monday — bringing the total number of deaths to 27,671 since the onset of the pandemic.     

Public Health officials also reported that the last two weeks of December saw the rate ratio for intensive care unit admission was 21.3, indicating the risk of ICU admission was 21.3 times higher among unvaccinated individuals than among fully vaccinated individuals.  

Additionally, the death rate ratio has held steady throughout the current surge. 

These ratios compare rates of an outcome in unvaccinated people with rates of the same outcome in fully vaccinated people; the higher the rate ratio, the more protective the vaccine is against the outcome.  

Public Health officials also reported that, of the 24 deaths, one person was younger than 29, two were between the ages of 30 and 49, and 20 were 50 years and older; 20 of the deaths were related to underlying health conditions.  

In the Santa Clarita Valley, 851 new cases were reported on Monday; 660 of those reported were from the city of Santa Clarita. 

“I send my heartfelt condolences to those families who have lost a loved one due to COVID-19,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. “Even as transmission surges, we are seeing that vaccines are doing what they were intended to do, which is protect people from getting severely ill due to COVID.” 

More than 80% of eligible county residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and there are nearly 2 million not vaccinated, according to Ferrer. 

“Choosing not to take the vaccine during this explosive winter surge is very risky since so many of those ill with COVID in the intensive care units at hospitals are unvaccinated, and tragically, some of these individuals will not survive,” Ferrer said. “As we start this new year, please protect yourselves by getting vaccinated and boosted if eligible and give others around you the peace of mind that comes from reducing the risk of a terrible outcome as more and more people are infected with this virus.” 

All COVID-19 services are free to L.A. County residents and can be accessed by anyone regardless of insurance or immigration status. To find a COVID-19 vaccine site near you, visit VaccinateLACounty.com, or to find a testing site, visit covid19.lacounty.gov/testing.      

Public Health officials also released the following updated COVID-19 statistics Tuesday:     

New cases in L.A. County: 21,790 

Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 1,780,154  

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours: 24    

Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 27,671  

Hospitalizations countywide: 1,792  

Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of Jan. 3: 38, with 1,742 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.      

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 851, 550 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita.     

Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 46,996    

Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV as of Jan. 3: 375     

Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the city of Santa Clarita as of Dec. 26: 78.7%