Good morning, SoCal. Here’s what you need to know today.
Your weather planner
Constant moisture coming from the Pacific Ocean has kept the scattered light rain and mountain snow showers going from Tuesday night to Wednesday morning. The heavier showers are moving into Ventura County around mid-Wednesday.
The showers will continue their trek through SoCal throughout the day. By noon and through the early afternoon, the first strong band of storms moves across LA County and into the Orange County and Inland Empire in the afternoon and evening.
This heavy band could stall over southern LA and Orange counties, along with the Inland Empire late Wednesday night and early Thursday before continuing to San Diego County. San Diego could be hit by the heavy rain during the early morning commute.
In the early hours of Thursday, the heavy rain and a few thunderstorms are not ruled out.
The wind will be on the windy side
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1. LA County’s COVID-19 hospital admissions are in the top 1,000 as cases increase
For the first time since late September, the number of people at Los Angeles County hospitals with COVID-19 exceeded the 1,000 limit on Tuesday, reflecting a sharp upward trend in infections and a dramatic increase in the number of people testing positive for the virus .
According to government figures, there were 1,069 COVID-positive patients at Los Angeles County hospitals as of Tuesday, up from 966 on Monday. Of these patients, 207 were treated in intensive care, up from 200 a day earlier.
Also rapidly increasing is the number of people testing positive for the virus. According to the county Department of Public Health, the seven-day average daily rate for people who tested positive for the virus rose to 14.5% from Tuesday. One week ago, the price was 3%. On 22 November, it was 0.9 per cent.
The sudden rapid spread of the virus is directly blamed on the omicron variant of the virus, which experts say is easily spread from person to person. Even fully vaccinated people are susceptible to omicron infection, although health authorities say they are far less likely to become seriously ill, be hospitalized or die. County Health Director Barbara Ferrer said last week that unvaccinated people are 21 times more likely to be hospitalized than vaccinated.
On Tuesday, the county reported an additional 9,473 new COVID infections, bringing the cumulative pandemic total number of infections to 1,632,893.
A further 22 virus-related deaths were also reported, raising the county’s death toll to 27,576.
2. Several flights canceled at LAX, other airports due to COVID-19 issues
Flight cancellations continued to plague Los Angeles International Airport and airports around the world on Tuesday, largely driven by staffing issues related to the recent rise in coronavirus cases.
LAX reported at least 50 cancellations on its website Tuesday, after experiencing even greater daily numbers over the Christmas weekend.
Orange County’s John Wayne Airport and Hollywood / Burbank Airport each reported a canceled flight on their website on Tuesday, while Long Beach Airport reported two.
3. James, Westbrook have triple-doubles, Lakers’ slip ends at 5
LeBron James and Russell Westbrook both had triple-doubles, and the Los Angeles Lakers got a season-high, five games with a 132-123 victory over the Houston Rockets Tuesday night.
James had 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his third triple-double this season. Westbrook scored 24 points with 12 rebounds and 10 assists for his seventh of the season.
Houston held on most of the night, but James took over late to let the Lakers pull away and give the Rockets their fifth defeat in a row.
The Rockets were behind by one when James was called up for goalkeeping on a layup by Jalen Green to put Houston on top with 2½ minutes left. But the Lakers challenged the call and it was overturned. Carmelo Anthony made a 3-pointer a few seconds later to increase the lead to 120-116.
James added two free throws after that, and his one-handed dunk after a turnover by Houston made it 124-116 with less than 90 seconds left.
Kevin Porter Jr.’s 3-pointer got Houston within five before James struck again and made a layup to extend the lead to 126-119 with less than a minute left. James made four penalty throws after that to secure the win.
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How to stop COVID-19, vaccine misinformation in the Latino community
The Latino community accounts for 52.1% percent of coronavirus cases in California, and with the omicron variant on its way to becoming the dominant strain by next year, the numbers will only continue to rise.
Right now, Latino community leaders are fighting the spread of the virus along with the spread of misinformation about vaccines.
“As we try to fight and encourage people to get the vaccine, the people who are interested in not getting the vaccine out are getting more and more information in the networks,” said Dr. America Bracho, CEO of Latino Health Access.
Bracho told “Inside the Issues” host Alex Cohen that many Latino families living in America still get their news from their home countries. There is also great reliance on social media, including platforms like Facebook messenger and WhatsApp, all difficult to police.
Los Angeles Kings center Blake Lizotte (46) controls the puck against Vegas Golden Knights center Michael Amadio (22) in the first period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday in Los Angeles. The Kings were finally back on the ice after three coronavirus-related suspensions in their first match at the newly renamed Crypto.com Arena. LA lost 6-3. (AP Photo / Ashley Landis)