LA County reports 18,158 new COVID-19 cases, 39 deaths since Saturday – Daily News
Los Angeles County has confirmed more than 18,000 new cases of COVID-19 since Saturday, the Department of Public Health reported Monday, July 11, continuing the almost daily reminder of the virus’s transmissibility as the indoor mask mandate county-wide is getting closer to being restored.
Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer warned during a public briefing last week that a new indoor mask mandate could be implemented by July 29 if county numbers continue to rise. increase.
The indoor mask mandate would go into effect again if the county reaches the “high” level of community transmission as defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
New numbers reported Monday appear to confirm county concerns that the omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants are fueling a rapid rise in cases – compounded by an increase in in-person gatherings held over the recent holiday weekend of July 4.
The DPH on Monday reported 18,158 new cases of COVID-19 and 39 new deaths since Saturday, bringing the county’s totals since the start of the pandemic to 3,178,242 and 32,451 respectively.
LA County reported an additional 6,416 new cases on Friday, July 8, along with 18 new deaths — the highest single-day death toll since March 30, DPH said.
The figures reported Monday are likely underestimated due to weekend and holiday reporting delays, the department said. The prevalence of home COVID-19 test kits also contributes to undercounting, as these results are rarely reported to DPH.
Still, more than 12.2 million LA County residents were tested for COVID-19 from Saturday through Monday, the county reported, with 23% testing positive.
LA county reported a total of 32,085 new cases of COVID-19 from July 1 to Thursday July 7. New cases since Friday July 8 are on track to surpass that – if numbers continue to rise this week.
The BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants were responsible for nearly 40% of all samples sequenced in LA County on Friday, officials said, and the CDC estimates they account for 70% of cases at the national scale.
But despite their contagiousness and ability to evade immunity – fully vaccinated and boosted people, or those who have had a recent infection, are vulnerable to breakthrough reinfections – BA.4 and BA.5 are less likely to cause disease grave and death than their predecessors, officials said.
The new numbers, however, will likely move the county closer to entering the “high” level of community transmission, although DPH has yet to confirm that status due to data reporting delays.
The criteria for determining a county’s transmission, as defined by the CDC, are triple: New COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days, new COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100,000 people in the last seven days, and percentage of staffed hospital beds occupied by COVID-19 patients .
While all three factors are important, DPH officials have repeatedly pointed to the rate of COVID-19 hospital admissions as a key indicator in determining the county CDC’s level of transmission.
LA County was still at the “medium” level of virus activity as of Thursday, July 7, with its seven-day average of new COVID-19-related hospital admissions at 8.4 per 100,000 population. It will fall into the “high” category if this metric reaches 10 new admissions per 100,000 population.
The county was on course to achieve that unenviable distinction by Thursday, July 14, Ferrer said last week, though she stressed that was an estimate that could change drastically depending on the number of admissions in the coming days.
The health department reported there were 2,035 hospitalized patients countywide on Friday and Saturday who tested positive for COVID-19 — but DPH has yet to release numbers for the next two days, citing again delayed reports.
Although the DPH declined to comment on the most recent numbers, a department spokesperson said via email that updates on hospitalization statistics and the county’s level of community transmission will likely be announced at the county’s weekly COVID-19 update, scheduled for Thursday.