By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 2,628 newly confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and 41 deaths Thursday, bringing countywide totals to 185,872 cases and 4,552 deaths.

Traffic makes its way to and from a COVID-19 test site at Dodger Stadium July 30. (Photo by Frederic J. Brown/AFP-Getty)

The department also reported 2,022 confirmed cases were currently hospitalized with 27% being treated in intensive care units. Officials said there were a total of 2,597 confirmed and suspected cases hospitalized with 17% on ventilators.

The latest numbers come as the health department announced a new text-based survey to monitor COVID-19 symptoms across the county in an effort to collect real-time data about spikes and trends.  The health department said the program, Angelenos in Action, will assist workers as they respond to affected communities.

“We are anxious to make sure that there are innovative strategies for partnering with residents to slow the spread,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, county public health director, said. “Texting is such an easy way of communicating with people, especially our younger residents, so we’re pleased to have Angelenos in Action, an innovative disease surveillance program in place.”

Los Angeles County residents who are 18 years or older with access to a cell phone capable of sending and receiving text messages can volunteer for the survey by sending the text “@PROTECT” to 35134. The survey can also be accessed by visiting the department’s website.

The survey is available in English and Spanish, consists of five questions and should take less than a minute to complete. All answers are confidential and will only be used to help the department better understand the spread of COVID-19 and how to better support residents.

Health officials also called on Angelenos to continue wearing face coverings, staying home when possible and refraining from gathering with people outside of their households.

“We need everyone to help us protect our community and save lives,” Ferrer said. “The main way to do that is to adhere to public health directives – avoid gathering with people that you don’t live with, wear a face covering, maintain physical distance, and wash hands often.”

With testing results available for more than 1.7 million people, the county’s overall positivity rate was holding steady at 10%.

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