Los Angeles county reported 644 new cases of COVID-19 and seven more deaths on Saturday as the county’s infection rate continued to rise alarmingly in recent days.
Hospital admissions for COVID-19 rose from 275 on Friday to 278, with the number of COVID patients in intensive care units in the county dropping from 72 to 70, according to the state.
Saturday’s numbers brought the county’s total since the pandemic started to 1,251,848 cases and 24,498 deaths, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Health.
Health officials say the recent surge is being fueled by the surge in COVID-19 variants, particularly the more contagious Delta variant. They added that with four million LA Counties still unvaccinated and cases tripling in the past week, the Delta variant is sufficiently at risk to pose a significant threat.
California COVID-19 Vaccinations
The card tracks the number of doses administered by a recipient’s residence as per the California Department of Health.
The variant is believed to be responsible for more than 26% of current COVID-19 infections in the United States and is also blamed for rampant infections in India and parts of the United Kingdom.
While new data show that fully vaccinated individuals are well protected from severe Delta variant infections, individuals with only one vaccine are not as well protected and there is increasing evidence that a very small number of fully vaccinated individuals can and may become infected may be able to infect others, the department said.
“We’re grateful to everyone for the tremendous strides we’ve made over the past year, but we’re not out of the woods yet,” said Barbara Ferrer, the county’s public health director. “If you plan to gather with others on this holiday, please take reasonable precautions to avoid transmitting the virus, especially if you gather with unvaccinated people and children.”
“If you are not vaccinated, it is time to get vaccinated to increase your protection as other public health precautions have been lifted. Talk to a friend or loved one who has been vaccinated and ask them about their experience. Vaccines offer us the best tool to end this pandemic that has plagued us for so many months. ”
Southern California are heading for the July 4th holiday in a number we haven’t seen since the pandemic.
On Friday, the department said the moving average rate of people testing positive for the virus is increasing but is still very low at just 1.3%. That’s a 1.2% increase on Thursday, but four times the 0.3% rate the county reported in early June.
Health officials have been closely monitoring the case numbers and test positivity rates, which have risen steadily since most COVID-19 health restrictions were lifted on June 15 and continue to spread locally and nationally.
Ferrer said 245 cases of the “Delta” variant were confirmed in the county on Thursday, almost twice as many as last week.
The county is running limited sequencing tests necessary to identify the variants so the number cannot be extrapolated to population, but “Delta” has become the most dominant variant detected in the county.
The Los Angeles Department of Animal Welfare noted that dogs and cats aren’t the only pets that can be frightened by fireworks. NBC4 News reports on July 2, 2021 at 8 p.m.
More than 10.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the county. The latest figures show that 59% of residents aged 16 and over are fully vaccinated, while 68% received at least one dose.
The numbers are higher for seniors: 76% of people 65 and over are fully vaccinated and 87% with at least one dose.
In the hope of getting more people to vaccinate, the district continues to offer incentives.
From Friday through Thursday, anyone who gets vaccinated at locations in the county, the city of Los Angeles, or the St. John’s Well Child and Family Center can take part in one of four ticket packages for the Huntington Library, Descanso Gardens, Los Angeles County Arboretum and South Coast Botanic Garden. The packages include annual membership for the Huntington’s disease and day passes for the other facilities.
In Orange County, health officials on Friday confirmed another 74 COVID infections on Friday, bringing the cumulative total to 256,445. Another fatality was also reported, bringing the death toll in the county to 5,123. The number of people hospitalized in Orange County with COVID fell from 70 on Thursday to 63 on Friday, with 12 of those patients in intensive care.
OK officials no longer update their daily case numbers on weekends.