By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles County reported another 2,767 COVID-19 cases Thursday, up 80% from last week and the county’s highest number since February.

The new cases brought the county’s total caseload to 1,276,137 since the pandemic began. County health officials also reported another 13 deaths bringing the death toll to 24,607.

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“We share our deepest condolences with those of you who have lost friends, loved ones, and family during this difficult time,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health.

“The Delta variant, because it is so much more infectious than any virus strain we have seen before, requires us to add additional layers of protection to slow transmission as we work to increase vaccination rates. While vaccinated people can be reassured about the protection the vaccine gives you from severe COVID-19 disease, we cannot yet reassure you that, given the proliferation of the Delta variant, the vaccine protects you from infecting another person. This is what masking up right now is really about: adding an extra layer of protection to prevent the heartache that comes from transmitting the virus to others.”

Thursday’s test positivity rate was 5.2%; an increase from the rate of 1.2% on June 15 when physical distancing restrictions and capacity limits were lifted across all sectors.

The County’s daily average case rate, with a seven-day lag, is now 12.9 cases per 100,000 people, an increase from last week’s rate of 7.1 cases per 100,000.

In L.A. County, 59% of all people over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated, but doctors say that’s not enough.

On Wednesday, the county reported 2,551 new cases of COVID-19, a 20-fold increase in a month.

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The county also shared that 20% of all new infections in June happened in fully vaccinated Angelenos.

People who are not vaccinated are at the highest risk of getting infected with COVID-19, health officials warned. Unvaccinated adults who are older or who have certain medical conditions are at the highest risk of severe COVID-19 disease.

As of July 18, more than 10,845,531 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to people across Los Angeles County.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection public health officials recommend individuals:

-Get vaccinated.
-Wear a mask that fits.
-Avoid crowded places.
-Wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer often.
-Avoid eating and touching your face with unwashed hands.
-Stay home when sick.

People two and older in Los Angeles County are required to wear masks in all indoor public places, regardless of their vaccination status.

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Beginning Friday, July 23 through next Thursday, July 29 at County-run vaccination sites, L.A. City sites, and St. John’s Well Child and Family Center sites, everyone 18 and older coming to get a vaccine will have an opportunity to win one of seven packages of tickets to an array of concerts presented by AEG including the Harlem Globetrotters, Disney on Ice, and the Gold Over America tour starring Simone Biles performances at the Staples Center sweepstakes is in effect through today.