LOS ANGELES (CNS) — The number of coronavirus patients in Los Angeles County hospitals has surged past 900, rising by nearly 100 people since Saturday, according to the latest state data released Wednesday.
There were 920 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals as of Wednesday, with 89 of those being treated in intensive care, according to the state figures. The county's hospitalization total had dropped as low as 209 in April, but has been steadily increasing since then as the rate of transmission has grown.
Health officials have said that many of those patients entered the hospital for other reasons before testing positive for COVID, but they still place an added burden on hospital staff as they require special care.
Statewide, the number of COVID-positive patients rose by 434 people over the previous 24 hours to 4,035.
On Wednesday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 4,879 new infections and 14 additional deaths related to the virus. The number of new cases is believed to be an undercount due to the prevalence of take-home COVID tests, the results of which are not always reported to the county.
Officially, the new cases lifted the county's cumulative total from throughout the pandemic to 3,148,370. The 14 new fatalities raised the county's death toll to 32,385.
The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus continued to rise, reaching 16.5%.
County officials again urged parents to get their children vaccinated against the virus, insisting that while kids tend to experience milder infections, they can still be dangerous or lead to longer-term health issues.
The county to date has confirmed 312 cases of the COVID-related Multi-Symptom Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C. According to the health department, two children under age 5 in the county have died of COVID during the pandemic, along with three kids aged 5 to 11 and six between 12 and 17 years old.
Health officials said outbreaks are being reported at summer camps, youth programs and day care sites.
County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer last week noted an uptick in infections related to workplaces, and urged employers to implement infection-control measures in indoor spaces, such as masking and maintaining physical distancing in communal areas. She said one sector in particular — the TV and film industry — has already re-imposed an indoor mask mandate now that the county's hospitalization rate has reached more than 8 per 100,000 residents.
She said that given the continued high level of virus transmission in the county — particularly with more rapid spread of the highly transmissible BA.4 and BA.5 variants — people should already be masking up indoors.
The city of Malibu announced Tuesday that masks are again being required inside Malibu City Hall due to surging cases among city staff. The building remains open, but residents are being urged to take advantage of virtual appointments and services.