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Los Angeles County reported more than 20,000 new coronavirus cases Thursday, the latest eye-popping total as a wave of infections fueled in part by the highly transmissible Omicron variant washes over the region.

“We are, in fact, experiencing the worst of a surge at the moment with the rising number of cases,” county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told reporters.

Thursday’s total, 20,198, is one of the highest in the pandemic. Over the last two days, the nation’s most populous county has announced nearly 37,000 new cases.

“The risk for virus transmission has never been higher in our county,” Ferrer said.

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