Another 6,529 COVID-19 infections were reported in Los Angeles County Wednesday, along with nine more deaths.
Meanwhile, the number of COVID-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals increased by 32 people to 779, according to the latest state figures. Of those patients, 77 were being treated in intensive care, up from 68 the previous day.
The state had reported 807 COVID-positive patients in the county on Tuesday, but amended those figures Wednesday.
County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer recently reported that about 60% of COVID-positive patients were actually admitted for other reasons before testing positive for the virus. But she noted that regardless of their reason for admission, being COVID-positive means they require increased infection-control measures at hospitals.
On Wednesday, county health officials reported 6,529 new cases of COVID-19 and nine additional deaths linked to the virus, bringing the county’s cumulative totals to 3,112,364 cases and 32,325 fatalities since the pandemic began.
Wednesday’s test positivity rate was 12.9%, nearly double the rate of two weeks ago, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Ferrer told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday that while hospitals over the past week averaged 720 COVID patients per day, a 16% increase from the previous week, the rate of new admissions has actually gone down.
According to Ferrer, the county is currently averaging 6.6 new daily COVID admissions per 100,000 residents, down from 7.3 per 100,000 a week ago. It was the first decline in that rate in the past few weeks.
The rate is being closely watched, because if the county reaches 10 new daily admissions per 100,000 residents, it will move to the “high” virus activity category as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If the county stays in the “high” category for two consecutive weeks, it will reimpose a mandatory indoor mask-wearing mandate.
Health officials had initially estimated that the county might reach the “high” category by the end of June, but with the pace of new admissions slowing, the estimate was pushed back last week to mid-July. On Tuesday, Ferrer said if the current pace holds, the county won’t reach the “high” category until the end of July.
In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Ferrer urged residents to exercise caution against virus spread over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, mainly by getting vaccinated.
“Residents can also reduce the chance of getting or spreading COVID- 19 by wearing a mask and doing an at-home test before indoor gatherings and events,” she said. “If someone does test positive or feel sick, they should stay away from others to prevent infecting others. As we celebrate this weekend, let’s make an effort to take actions that protect our friends, family members, and co-workers who may be at elevated risk.”