Los Angeles County health officials reported another 56 COVID-19-related deaths over a four-day period ending Tuesday, while virus-related hospitalizations ticked upward slightly.
After a one-day delay in the release of weekend virus statistics caused by a processing error, the LA County Department of Public Health reported 16 deaths associated with COVID-19 from Saturday, 14 on Sunday, nine on Monday and 17 on Tuesday.
The new fatalities gave the county a cumulative death toll from throughout the pandemic of 35,281.
LA County also reported a total of 2,946 new COVID cases over the four-day period, raising the overall total to 3,676,266.
The daily case numbers released by the county’s Department of Public Health are undercounts of actual virus activity, due to people who use at-home tests and don’t report the results, and others who don’t test at all.
According to state figures, there were 705 COVID-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals as of Tuesday, up slightly from 640 on Saturday. Of those patients, 72 were being treated in intensive care units.
The seven-day average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus in the county was 5.6% as of Tuesday, roughly the same rate as the past week.
With the county now in the “low” virus-activity level, as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wearing masks indoors is now a matter of personal preference.
Masks are still required indoors at health-care and congregate-care facilities in the county, and for anyone exposed to the virus in the past 10 days, and at businesses where they are required by the owner. Masks are strongly recommended for high-risk individuals, and for people riding public transit.