LA County COVID hospitalizations tick up slightly, but are still dramatically lower over 2 weeks – Daily News

After 13 straight days of drops, Los Angeles County saw a slight increase in the number of COVID-19-positive patients in hospitals on Monday, Sept. 13, but the number is still dramatically lower than it was just two weeks ago.

According to state figures, there were 1,224 patients with COVID in county hospitals as of Monday, up from 1,218 on Sunday. The number of people in intensive care was 368, up from 360.

County Department of Public Health officials noted that the number of hospitalized patients has dropped by roughly 260 over the past week, and is down by nearly 470 over the past two weeks. The agency reported that unvaccinated people aged 50 and older are more than 17 times more likely to wind up hospitalized due to COVID than vaccinated people. Hospitalizations among unvaccinated people aged 18-49 are 23 times higher than their vaccinated counterparts, according to health officials.

“Out of all our nearly 10.3 million L.A. County residents, including those who are not yet eligible for the vaccine, 57% are fully vaccinated,” county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “This is just not enough to avoid continued surges in cases. We need to increase vaccination coverage to avoid these cycles of tremendous transmission. While we continue efforts that guarantee easy access and build confidence in vaccines, we hope that targeted vaccination requirements help us see increases in the number of people vaccinated in the coming weeks.”

The county on Monday officially announced 13 new COVID-19 deaths and 1,121 new cases — low figures that traditionally represent reporting delays from over the weekend. The county did not release any COVID case numbers over the weekend due to upgrades being conducted on its data processing systems. As a result, the county reported an additional 67 deaths from those two days, along with another 4,569 cases.

The new figures raised the county’s overall COVID death toll to 25,688, and the cumulative number of cases from throughout the pandemic to 1,433,465.

On Friday, Ferrer reported that the county has seen three consecutive weeks of decline in its weekly infection rate, an improvement she attributed in part to mask mandates and slowly rising vaccination numbers.

Under benchmarks set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, transmission is considered in the “high” category if there are cumulatively 100 or more new cases per 100,000 residents over the course of a week. Much of the country is currently in the “high” transmission category.

Los Angeles County’s rate, however, fell last week to 104 cases per 100,000, a “welcome” 35% drop from the previous week, Ferrer said. If the county’s rate continues to decrease and falls below 100 new cases per 100,000 residents over a seven-day period, it could move into the CDC’s less-severe “substantial” transmission category.

But Ferrer warned that a reversal of fortune could still occur.

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