The number of COVID-19 patients in Los Angeles County hospitals has passed 800, after dropping to 209 in April, according to the latest government figures released Tuesday, June 28.
The state has not updated its hospitalization totals since Saturday, when there were 762 patients with COVID in county hospitals, 76 of whom are being treated in intensive care. The latest figures showed 807 patients with coronavirus, 68 of whom are in the intensive care unit.
Barbara Ferrer, director of public health for Los Angeles County, recently reported that about 60% of patients with COVID had already been admitted for other reasons before testing positive for the virus. But she noted that regardless of the reason for their admission, being infected with COVID means that patients need to increase infection control measures in hospitals.
On Tuesday, county health officials reported 3,671 new cases of COVID-19, giving the county a cumulative total from across the epidemic of 3,105,867. Another nine deaths linked to the virus were also reported, bringing the county’s total death toll to 32,316.
County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday that while over the past week the number of novel coronavirus patients hospitalized over the past week has averaged 720 per day, a 16% increase from the previous week, the rate of new admissions has already declined.
According to Ferrer, the county’s average number of daily new COVID cases is 6.6 per 100,000 residents, down from 7.3 per 100,000 a week ago. This was the first drop in that rate in the past few weeks.
The rate is being closely monitored, because if the county reaches 10 new daily admissions per 100,000 residents, it will move into the “high” virus activity category as defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If the county stays in the “high” category for two consecutive weeks, it will reimpose the mandatory indoor mask-wearing mandate.
Health officials had initially estimated that the county could 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 that if the current pace continues, the county will not reach the “high” category until the end of July.
The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 12.2% as of Tuesday, up from 10.9% on Monday.
In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Ferrer urged residents to be vigilant against spreading the virus over the Fourth of July weekend, particularly via vaccination.
“Residents can also reduce the chance of contracting or spreading COVID-19 by wearing a mask and getting tested at home before indoor gatherings and events,” she said. “If someone tests positive or feels sick, they should stay away from others to prevent infecting others. As we celebrate this weekend, let’s make an effort to take measures that protect our friends, family, and co-workers who may be at elevated risk.”
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