Nearly 100 people battling COVID-19 have been admitted to Huntington Hospital according to the hospital, which lists 14 patients in the intensive care unit.
Seventy-six percent of the total patients are unvaccinated. Of the 14 patients in the ICU, 86 percent are unvaccinated, the hospital reported on Monday.
The city reported 503 new confirmed and 15 probable cases on Friday, and 465 confirmed and 28 probable cases on Saturday. Sunday and Monday numbers were still being tallied.
“As we start 2022 year three of pandemic we are presented with a new challenge,” said Pasadena Health Director Dr. Ying-Ying Goh, who said Omicron is three times more infectious than the Delta variant.
“Fortunately we are not in the same place as we were due to the arrival of life-saving vaccines.”
Goh said although there was reason to be optimistic, she warned that Omicron can be deadly and called on people to get vaccine and booster shots.
Although the surge is still extremely concerning, it has been short-lived in some other countries, but the duration in the US remains to be seen.
“I’m asking the public to please beware of the urgency of the current situation,” she said.
Goh and Dr. Lori Morgan, president of Huntington Hospital, presented a COVID-19 update to the City Council on Monday.
Pasadena is currently averaging 361 new COVID cases a day up from 33 a day just three weeks ago. About 90 percent of local eligible residents have been vaccinated. Five people have died from the virus in recent weeks.
“These are extremely challenging times for hospitals right now,” Morgan said. “We are pausing elective surgeries for the time being in order to guarantee adequate beds. Our healthcare workers are exhausted. We have a number of staff that are out.”
Morgan also emphasized the need for vaccination and booster shots.
Los Angeles County set another daily record on Sunday with 45,584 positive COVID-19 tests Sunday, just two days after it broke the old daily record on Friday with 43,712 infections. The county report 13 more COVID-related fatalities on Sunday.
Surging infection numbers prompted the county this week to amend its public health order, requiring employers to provide upgraded masks to employees who work indoors in close contact with others.
The order, issued Wednesday, will take effect Jan. 17 and requires employers to provide affected workers with “well-fitting medical grade masks, surgical masks, or higher-level respirators, such as N95 or KN95 masks.”
Pasadena quickly released a statement that the Pasadena Public Health Department also will issue an order requiring Pasadena employers to provide upgraded masks, such as N95s, to their on-site employees, contract workers and volunteers.
The order will likely take effect on Jan. 17, the same day as the County order.
The revised order also amended the definition of outdoor “mega events,” where masking is required, to 5,000 or more attendees; and the definition of indoor “mega” events to 500 or more people. The numbers align with those in the state’s health order. The county’s order also “recommends” that food and drink be consumed only in designated dining areas.
The upgraded mask requirement for county workplaces mirrors an order released late last week by the county for K-12 schools, requiring teachers and staff to wear higher-grade face coverings. USC announced this week it will require all students and staff to wear higher-grade masks when in-person classes resume.