Los Angeles County health officials today reported 15,413 new cases of COVID-19 and 18 additional deaths linked to the virus over the July Fourth weekend.
The Public Health Department reported 5,865 cases on Saturday, 6,020 cases for Sunday and 3,528 for Monday. There were ten deaths for Saturday, five for Sunday and three for Monday.
The latest figures bring the county’s cumulative totals to 3,140,615 cases and 32,361 deaths since the pandemic began. Most of the deaths occurred in people with at least one underlying health condition, primarily high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.
The county’s daily test positivity rate, on a seven-day average, stood at 13.7% as of Monday, up from 12.2% last Tuesday.
The latest hospitalization numbers were not available because of delays in the state health department’s report, but as of Saturday there were 810 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals, 91 of whom were being treated in intensive care.
Amid rising infections and hospitalizations, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer urged caution against the spread of COVID-19 during the Fourth of July, when many people are expected to attend parties or large gatherings. There is a possibility.
“Given the increasing number of COVID cases and hospitalizations and the increasing prevalence of the more infectious BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, it is additional important to take steps to reduce the risk of transmission, especially over the long holiday weekend,” Ferrer said last week.
“… please be sure to remind friends and family to stay home and skip the celebration if they feel sick or test positive,” she said. “It is also a good idea to have everyone test themselves before getting together, ideally on the day of the gathering. It is always best to celebrate outside, and it is advisable to wear masks if people come indoors to attend gatherings, especially if there are individuals who are at high risk of serious illness. become infected. ,
Ferrer saw a rise in infections related to workplaces on Thursday, and urged employers to implement infection-control measures in indoor spaces, such as wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing in communal areas. She said one sector in particular – the TV and film industries – has already reimposed an indoor mask mandate, as the county’s hospitalization rate jumped to more than 8 per 100,000 residents.
She said given the continuing high level of virus transmission in the county – especially with the more rapid spread of the highly infectious BA.4 and BA.5 variants – people should already wear masks indoors.
Because masks aren’t mandatory, “people aren’t, I guess, heeding our request that people put those masks back indoors right now.”
She said the evidence is “crystal clear” that masking, especially with high-grade N95 or KN95 masks, works to stop the spread of the virus.