This weekend, officials in Los Angeles County continued to report a surge in COVID-19 cases, underscoring the ongoing importance of boosting vaccinations there and throughout the state.
The California Chamber of Commerce continues to encourage everyone to get vaccinated to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The Los Angeles Times reported the Department of Public Health recorded 3,356 new cases of the virus on Sunday and eight related deaths, but said the real number is likely higher due to weekend reporting delays.
There were 1,653 COVID-19 patients in Los Angeles County hospitals as of Saturday, an increase of nearly 51% from two weeks before, when there were 1,096 patients.
The state’s COVID-19 dashboard showed 13,472 cases statewide as of Saturday (25.7 new cases per 100,000 persons), and 45 deaths. Both statistics were on the rise from the previous period, while the test positivity rate was 6.4%, a decline.
As noted by the Los Angeles Times, officials said last week that the surge fueled by the highly transmissible Delta variant is showing some signs of slowing in Los Angeles County, but cases are likely to continue rising in the weeks ahead, in part due to increased testing as schools, colleges and universities welcome students back for the new term.
Some institutions are requiring regular testing, making it more likely that asymptomatic infections which would otherwise have gone undetected will be identified.
Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom ordered that all California school employees be vaccinated or submit to a weekly test. L.A. Unified, whose schools open Monday, is requiring weekly testing of all students and employees, regardless of whether they are vaccinated.
Due to the increase in testing, health officials said, a more revealing metric of the county’s progress against the surge is the positivity rate, the proportion of conducted tests that return a positive result.
As of Saturday, the Los Angeles Times reported, Los Angeles County’s daily test positivity rate was 3.96%, down from 4.8% the Saturday before and from 4.4% Tuesday, according to the public health department.
Although more fully vaccinated people are becoming infected due to the high rates of community transmission, they are about 14 times less likely to be hospitalized than those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, and almost no fully vaccinated people are dying from COVID-19, officials said.
In addition, unvaccinated people are still almost four times more likely to become infected as those who are vaccinated, according to the public health department.