LOS ANGELES, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) — Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the United States, on Friday hit a grim milestone of 600,000 confirmed cases in total.

The county’s Department of Public Health on Friday reported 13,756 new COVID-19 infections and 60 additional deaths in a daily release, pushing its cumulative cases since the pandemic’s beginning up to 610,372, with 8,817 related deaths.

More than 100,000 new cases have been reported since Dec. 11 when the county reached the 500,000-case landmark, officials said, noting that the county is “experiencing the fastest acceleration of new cases than at any other time during the pandemic.”

There are 5,424 patients with COVID-19 hospitalized across the county, 21 percent of them in the intensive care unit (ICU), setting another record, according to the department.

Available capacity of ICU beds in the 11-county Southern California region, which includes Los Angeles County, has dropped to zero earlier this week.

“We are bearing witness every day to the terrible suffering caused by a virus that is spreading out of control throughout the county,” said Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer in the release.