LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Los Angeles County is reporting 3,058 new COVID-19 cases, the first time since mid-February the daily number has topped 3,000. Another seven deaths are also being reported.
With COVID-19 cases up 80% in LA County in the past week, health officials are urging continued vigilance.READ MORE: Riverside Man Claims Trader Joe’s Fired Him For Being Unvaccinated
Inside Santa Monica restaurants Friday night, there was a look into how LA County’s reinstated indoor mask mandate is going: some people were wearing face coverings but many others were maskless.
With the spike in numbers, Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Burbank is reconstructing its COVID unit to account for an influx of patients. The center will convert 30 ICU rooms into negative pressure rooms for increased demands.
About 6 weeks ago, there were zero COVID patients at the Burbank hospital. But that has changed since the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
In the last month, Providence St. Joseph and its sister hospitals in Southern California have seen an increase of Covid patients by nearly 600%. Nearly all of the patients were unvaccinated.
And officials said that while vaccines still provide strong protection, 20% of last month’s new cases occurred among the fully vaccinated. That was up from 11% in May and 5% in April. But Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said the increase is normal given the continued rise in the number of people who are getting fully vaccinated.
Health officials have repeatedly blamed the current surge in cases on the highly infectious “Delta” variant of the virus. The variant was first discovered in India and is blamed for rampant infections in that country, along with outbreaks in the United Kingdom. It is now spreading across the United States, contributing to rising case numbers and hospitalizations.READ MORE: Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park In Orange County Closed Again Due To Mountain Lion Sightings
According to state figures, there were 688 people hospitalized in Los Angeles County due to COVID as of Friday, up from 655 on Thursday and the highest number since late March. There were 146 people in intensive care, down slightly from 148 on Thursday.
The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 5.2% on Friday, roughly the same as Thursday. The rate one month ago was 0.7%.
With the additional seven COVID deaths reported by the county Friday, the overall death toll was brought to 24,614.
The county Department of Public Health noted that unvaccinated people are becoming infected at five times the rate of transmission from just one month ago.
Ferrer released figures Thursday showing that fully vaccinated people are also not immune from contracting the virus — representing 20% of all infections during June. But she stressed that thanks to the vaccines, the vast majority of those people are not becoming severely ill or hospitalized. And she said without the vaccines, the situation would be much worse.
“If we didn’t have 5.3 million people fully vaccinated in L.A. County, we would probably be seeing almost double the number of cases today,” Ferrer said in a statement Friday. “For everyone, common-sense precautions including masking when indoors, frequent hand-washing and avoiding crowds will reduce your risk while allowing you to continue to enjoy the activities you love.”
County figures released Thursday showed that among roughly 4.85 million fully vaccinated residents from Jan. 19 through Tuesday, only 6,520 tested positive for the virus, for a rate of 0.13%. That’s up from a rate of 0.09% last week.MORE NEWS: Clippers’ New $1.8B Inglewood Arena, The Intuit Dome, To Break Ground Friday
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