Los Angeles County reported an additional eight COVID-19 deaths and 826 new cases in its latest data, but health officials said the unusually low numbers were likely the result of delays in reporting over the weekend.
The new deaths increased the county death toll from the virus to 26,320, while the cumulative total of cases throughout the pandemic rose to 1,471,645. Officials said about 90% of COVID-19-related deaths were among people with underlying health conditions.
According to the state, there were 667 COVID-positive hospital patients in the county on Monday, up from 656 on Sunday. The number of intensive care patients was 195, compared to 202 on Sunday.
The number of COVID patients in the county hospitals has decreased 36-fold in the past 42 days.
On Monday, the moving average daily rate of those who tested positive for the virus was 0.9%.
The health department also reported over the weekend that between August 29 and September 25, unvaccinated blacks and Latinx had the highest infection rates in the county, with 587 to 594 new cases per 100,000 people. Across all races and ethnic groups, infection rates remained two to three times higher in unvaccinated people than in vaccinated people.
Black residents also had the highest hospitalization rates among both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents, with a rate of 62 hospitalizations per 100,000 unvaccinated, 27% higher than the rate in the next highest group, Latinx residents.
Among the unvaccinated people, white residents had the highest mortality rates of any group, closely followed by Latinx and black residents.
“The higher hospitalization and death rates among Black and Latinx residents are a tragedy that has long reflected inequalities in access to resources that promote good health and prevent chronic disease,” said Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. “As we approach cooler weather and the associated significant spread of the disease, these numbers are a reminder of the importance of continuing to focus on delivering the vaccine to those who have not been vaccinated, especially those with risk factors related to social and health issues economic inequalities that increase their risk of serious illness. The end of the pandemic is directly related to our collective behavior. “
Friday marked the first full day of the new COVID-19 vaccination regulations for employees and customers in indoor areas of bars, wineries, distilleries, nightclubs and lounges in Los Angeles County. Employees and customers of such companies must provide evidence of at least one vaccination dose, while from November 4, two doses will be required.
Unvaccinated customers and employees can continue to be outside of affected companies.
In the meantime, people 12 years and older attending outdoor mega-events with 10,000 or more people must provide proof of full vaccination or negative COVID test within 72 hours. The requirement applies to sporting events with tickets, outdoor concerts and theme parks with 10,000 or more visitors.
Wearing masks is also compulsory at all of these events.
The vaccination or test requirement already existed for large indoor events of 1,000 people or more.
Overall, 78% of eligible district residents aged 12 and over have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 70% are fully vaccinated. Of the total of 10.3 million residents of the district, including 1.3 million children under the age of 12 who are not eligible for the vaccination, 67% receive at least one dose and 60% are fully vaccinated.