Los Angeles County health officials Monday reported 15,413 new cases of COVID-19 and 18 other virus-related deaths over the three-day weekend of July 4th.
The county Department of Health reported 5,865 cases for Saturday, 6,020 cases for Sunday and 3,528 cases for Monday. Ten of the deaths were reported on Saturday, five on Sunday and three on Monday.
The latest figures bring the county’s cumulative total to 3,140,615 cases and 32,361 deaths since the pandemic began. A majority of the deaths occurred in people with at least one underlying medical condition, mainly high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
The county’s daily test positivity rate for a seven-day average was 13.7% Monday, up from 12.2% last Tuesday.
The latest hospitalization numbers were unavailable due to delays in state health department reports, but as of Saturday there were 810 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals, 91 of whom were being treated in intensive care.
Amid rising transmission and increased hospital admissions, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer had called for caution about the spread of COVID-19 on July 4, when parties or large gatherings are likely to be crowded.
“With the rising number of COVID cases and hospitalizations, as well as the increased prevalence of the more contagious BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, it is particularly important to take measures to reduce the risk of transmission, particularly over the long holiday weekend,” Ferrer said last week.
“…Please remember to remind friends and family to stay home and skip the celebration if they’re feeling sick or have tested positive,” she said. “Also, it’s a good idea to test yourself before you get together, ideally on the day of the meeting. The best way to celebrate is always outdoors, and if people are coming indoors for part of the gathering, wearing a mask is advisable, especially if there are people at high risk of serious illness should they become infected.”
Noting a spike in workplace-related infections on Thursday, Ferrer urged employers to take indoor infection control measures, such as using indoor masks. B. Masking and maintaining physical distancing in common areas. She said one sector in particular — the television and film industries — has already re-imposed an indoor mask mandate after the county’s hospitalization rate hit more than 8 per 100,000 people.
She said given the continued high level of virus transmission in the county — particularly given the faster spread of the highly transmissible BA.4 and BA.5 variants — people should already dress up indoors.
Since masks are not mandatory, “I don’t think people are heeding our request that people now put those masks back on indoors.”
She said the evidence is “crystal clear” that masking, particularly with a higher quality N95 or KN95 mask, prevents the virus from spreading.