LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Los Angeles County recorded more than 12,000 new COVID-19 infections over the past three days amid the continued rapid spread of the virus, but the number of COVID-positive patients in the county’s hospitals has remained generally stable.
According to the county health department, 5,152 new cases were recorded on Saturday, 4,750 on Sunday and 2,476 on Monday. The district did not report any case numbers over the weekend.
what you need to know
- Another 14 deaths in the past three days have been confirmed in LA County
- There were 391 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals on Monday, up from 385 on Sunday
- On Friday, the district’s health authorities extended the obligation to wear masks on public transport and at transport hubs
- The county still doesn’t mandate the wearing of masks in all indoor public spaces, but it is strongly encouraged
The new infections brought the county’s cumulative total throughout the pandemic to 2,942,149.
Another 14 deaths from the past three days were also confirmed, bringing the county’s total death toll from the virus to 32,086.
There were 391 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals on Monday, up from 385 on Sunday and below the number of 402 on Saturday. Of these patients, 53 were treated in intensive care, up from 49 the day before.
The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 3% on Monday, slightly below the weekend.
COVID case numbers have been rising steadily in recent weeks thanks to the spread of highly infectious variants of the virus, particularly the BA.2 variant and the BA.2.12.1 subvariant. Last week, the county was moved from the US Centers for Disease Control’s low virus activity category to moderate.
“LA County numbers are rising in nearly all of our metrics, reflecting the reality of the dominance of highly infectious mutant variants,” said Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health, in a statement. “To protect the most vulnerable, we must look after each other by creating barriers to the transmission of the virus. This happens when we are up to date on vaccinations and booster shots, wearing a mask indoors and around others, and get tested to know our status if we feel sick, have been exposed, or gather indoors . None of this is particularly difficult, and these measures protect the elderly, those with underlying health conditions, and those with many potential exposures in their workplaces or in the community.”
On Friday, the district’s health authorities extended the obligation to wear masks on public transport and at transport hubs.
The health regulation was enacted in late April, requiring masks in transit vehicles and at hubs such as airports and train stations. The county’s Department of Health announced Friday that the mandate had been extended for an additional 30 days or until the county sees a sharp drop in virus transmission, whichever comes first.
The county still doesn’t mandate the wearing of masks in all indoor public spaces, but it is strongly encouraged. Masks would become mandatory indoors as the county slides to ‘high’ COVID levels. Reaching that mark would require a sharp increase in COVID-related hospital admissions.
According to CDC guidelines, counties will move to high in the moderate category when the rate of new virus-related hospitalizations reaches 10 per 100,000 population or when 10% of the county’s occupied hospital beds are occupied by COVID-positive patients.
Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health, said Thursday that the county’s current rate of COVID-related admissions is 3.4 per 100,000 residents and the rate of hospital beds occupied by COVID-positive patients is about 1.7%.