By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – More people in Los Angeles County have been infected with the coronavirus than previously believed, according to new report.

Estimates by county scientists indicated up to one in three residents – or the equivalent of roughly 3 million people – have contracted the virus, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The new data suggests a nearly threefold increase over the total number of COVID-19 cases confirmed through testing, according to the Times.

Officials say the number of overall infections has worked to slow the rate of transmission by likely developing immunity in those who have already contracted the virus.

Roughly 75% of the county’s 10 million residents will need to gain immunity to slow the spread, researchers told the Times.

Authorities say despite a surge in cases, new hospitalizations in L.A. County have slowed and possibly even declined.