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KPCC: COVID-19 Cases Continue to Surge in LA County

KPCC show "Air Talk," KABC and several other media outlets recently spoke with Sam Torbati, MD, co-chair and medical director of Cedars-Sinai's Ruth and Harry Roman Emergency Department, about the recent uptick in cases of COVID-19 in L.A. County.

Cedars-Sinai has experienced a sevenfold increase in coronavirus-related visits to the Emergency Department and a small increase in hospitalizations, Torbati said. These patients mainly are unvaccinated younger people ages 20-40.

"We're hopeful that it stays low," Torbati told "Air Talk" host Larry Mantle. "But if this spike behaves as the previous ones did, then in the next weeks we'll start seeing more patients getting sicker and requiring hospitalization. So we're very concerned."

Young people are fueling this uptick "because they're more active and proportionally less-vaccinated," Torbati told KABC reporter Denise Dador. "They're not wearing face masks. They're not protected so they're going to get infected."

But these younger patients are not immune to serious COVID-19 complications, Torbati told Mantle. "Over the last year and a half, we saw a lot of younger patients become so symptomatic," he said. "Maybe they didn't die, but they were having trouble breathing for days to weeks, sometimes months."

Torbati said vaccination is the key to turning the tide of the pandemic, and that public health should take precedence over politics. Everyone should get vaccinated.

"The politization of this disease and these therapies is mind boggling," Torbati told Mantle.

Click here to listen to the complete episode of "Air Talk" and here to view the complete story from KABC.