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.

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

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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.

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