COVID Los Angeles: County Sees Rise in Hospital Admissions; 76 are being treated in intensive care

LOS ANGELES (CNS) — The number of people hospitalized with coronavirus infection in Los Angeles County has risen by 21 people to 762, according to the latest state data.

Of the patients hospitalized on Saturday, 76 were being treated in intensive care, nine more than on Friday.

Some COVID-positive patients likely came to the hospital for other reasons before testing positive for the virus, but health officials aren’t providing precise breakdowns.

The latest numbers come two days after Dr. Paul Simon, chief science officer for the county department of public health, said the rate of increase in COVID-positive patients is beginning to slow, pushing back the estimate of when a mask-wearing mandate indoors could be reimposed.

The current seven-day average of new hospital admissions for people with the virus was 84 a day, Simon said Thursday, just a small increase from 83 the previous week.

The rate of hospital admissions was 7.3 per 100,000 residents over the past week. That was the same rate as the previous week and ended a steady upward trend that has raised the possibility of a new county universal indoor mask mandate.

According to metrics set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the county would move from the “moderate” viral activity category to the “high” level when the rate of hospital admissions reached 10 per 100,000 residents.

If the county reaches the high level and stays there for two weeks, a new indoor mask mandate will be imposed.

County health officials previously forecast that at the previous rate of increase, the county would reach the “high” category by late June or early July. But with the pace now slowing, Simon said the current forecast is that the county won’t reach the high category until at least mid-July.

He noted that the county could avoid even reaching that level if transmission of the virus slowed, leading to an expected drop in hospitalizations.

While virus transmission is still considered high across the county, the average number of local new infections has gradually leveled off and even declined. Simon said the current rate of new daily cases is around 4,400 a day, down 6% from the previous week.

But the case numbers are likely artificially low because many people rely on take-home COVID tests, the results of which aren’t always reported to the county and therefore aren’t included in the official total.

Simon thanked residents who have continued to take infection control measures – like wearing masks even without a mandate. He said such personal choices affect the overall infection rate.

“I know the public gets very tired with our repeated messages, but it’s so important – to be strategic as much as possible,” he said. “…In certain settings where you know there is a greater risk of transmission of the virus, wear this mask.”

The county reported an additional 6,129 COVID infections on Friday, bringing the cumulative total for the entire pandemic to 3,088,482.

A further eight virus-related deaths were reported, bringing the local death toll to 32,291.

The test positivity rate was 11.3%. The rate has risen, most likely due to the drastic reduction in the overall level of testing carried out daily as schools are out of action over the summer.

The county health department is not reporting COVID data over the weekend.

Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc.

Copyright © 2022 City News Service, Inc. All rights reserved. COVID Los Angeles: County Sees Rise in Hospital Admissions; 76 are being treated in intensive care

Laura Coffey

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