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LA County COVID: Still thousands of daily new cases, 13K over weekend

Los Angeles County reported another 2,151 COVID-19 cases Tuesday, along with four additional deaths, and nearly 13,000 new cases were reported over the holiday weekend.

The number of COVID-positive patients in county hospitals dipped slightly to 479, down from 486 on Monday. The number of those patients being treated in intensive care was 54 as of Tuesday, up two from the previous day.

The new cases reported Tuesday lifted the county’s overall total from throughout the pandemic to 2,976,323. The four new deaths gave the county a cumulative virus-related death toll of 32,133.

Health officials said the numbers announced Tuesday are likely artificially low due to reporting delays from the holiday weekend.

The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 4% as of Tuesday, compared with 3.7% on Monday. The Department of Public Health noted that the rate is more than double what it was a month ago, when it was 1.8%.

“With high rates of transmission across LA County, there is increased risk that our most vulnerable, including essential workers and the elderly, can get infected, seriously ill, or tragically pass away,” county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement.

“And with outbreaks increasing across nearly every sector, protecting those most vulnerable becomes everyone’s responsibility. The most important steps we can take is to be up-to-date on vaccinations and boosters, wear a mask indoors when around others, and get tested if we feel sick, were exposed, or are gathering with others. When we take these steps, we take care of each other.”

Los Angeles County public health officials reported 12,694 confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, with 13 COVID-related deaths and 486 hospitalizations.

The county reported 2,901 new cases Monday, 4,108 cases Sunday and 5,685 on Saturday.

The recent upward surge in infections has led to an increase in virus-related hospitalizations, although far less than the winter surge. County health officials noted that the county has averaged 452 daily virus-related hospital patients over the past week, a 92% jump from one month ago.

The county has also reported upticks in outbreaks on school campuses and in skilled nursing facilities.

Staff at nursing facilities are now required to wear N95-level masks at all times and undergo twice-weekly testing, while residents must undergo weekly testing. All communal dining has also been halted, and all nonessential indoor group activities are being paused.

Los Angeles County remains in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “medium” category of virus activity. Under CDC guidelines, counties in the “medium” category will move to “high” if the rate of new virus-related hospital admissions reaches 10 per 100,000 residents, or if 10% of the county’s staffed hospital beds are occupied by COVID-positive patients.

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