LOS ANGELES (CNS) — More than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported by Los Angeles County Tuesday, while the overall virus-related death toll reached the grim 32,000 milestone.
The 2,044 new infections reported Tuesday lifted the county's overall total from throughout the pandemic to 2,897,513.
The county logged four more COVID-related fatalities to reach the 32,000 mark.
The number of COVID-positive patients in county hospitals ticked up slightly to 252, up 10 from Monday. The number of those patients being treated in intensive care was 27 on Tuesday, the same as the previous day.
Health officials have noted that while COVID case numbers have risen sharply in recent weeks, hospitalization numbers have held relatively steady, and daily deaths have continued declining. On Monday, the county Department of Public Health pointed to the effectiveness of COVID vaccines for preventing severe illness from virus infection.
"The lower numbers of hospitalizations and deaths reflect, in large part, the protection provided by the vaccines against the variants," according to the county Department of Public Health. "For the week ending April 22, unvaccinated people were four times more likely to be hospitalized compared to residents who were fully vaccinated, but not boosted, and five times more likely to be hospitalized than those fully vaccinated and boosted."
According to the county, over the last week, the county has averaged four virus-related deaths per day, a 72% decrease from a month ago. The average daily number of virus-positive hospital patients averaged 245, roughly the same as it was a month ago.
The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 2.4% as of Tuesday, a rate that has held mostly steady over the past week.
Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer on Monday urged people to consider getting vaccinated and boosted ahead of the Memorial Day holiday and subsequent summer gatherings.
"For these occasions to not contribute to the increasing spread of omicron variants, we encourage attendees to take sensible precautions that will protect you and those around you, including staying outside as much as possible and wearing a mask when indoors," she said in a statement. "And given the high number of asymptomatic individuals that are infected, testing before gathering with others, especially if gathering indoors, is an effective and practical safety measure that can easily prevent the spread of the virus. Most importantly, those who are older and those who have underlying heath conditions should be sure to get boosted as soon as eligible to maximize protection from these highly infectious, mutated variants of concern."