LOS ANGELES (CNS) — COVID-19 hospitalizations crept upward in Los Angeles County for the second straight day Tuesday, although the overall number of virus-affected patients remained dramatically below the level reached during the peak of the summer surge.
According to state figures, there were 684 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals as of Tuesday, up from 667 on Monday and 656 on Sunday. Of the hospitalized patients, 181 were being treated in intensive care units, down from 195 on Monday.
Despite the two consecutive days of increases, the number of COVID patients in county hospitals has declined 36 times in the past 43 days.
The county Department of Public Health reported 16 new deaths on Tuesday, giving the county an overall virus death toll of 26,336. Officials have said that about 90% of the fatalities associated with COVID-19 occurred in people with underlying health conditions.
Another 742 new COVID infections were also confirmed Tuesday, with officials saying the relatively low number is likely the result of continued reporting delays from the weekend and Monday's Columbus Day holiday.
The new infections lifted the county's cumulative case number from throughout the pandemic to 1,472,419.
The rolling average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus in the county remained low, at 0.8%.
Continuing their push for pregnant women and new mothers to get vaccinated, Public Health officials released updated numbers showing that as of Oct. 5, 13,161 pregnant women have tested positive for the virus in the county. For the 12,919 births that had testing information available, 63 infants tested positive for the virus. Twelve pregnant women in the county have died from COVID-19.
"Along with the CDC and pregnancy experts, we continue to strongly recommend expecting and new moms to get vaccinated against COVID-19," Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. "According to a CDC study on pregnant and recently pregnant women with COVID-19, symptomatic pregnant women compared with non-pregnant symptomatic women have more than a two-fold increased risk of requiring ICU admission and a 70% increased risk of death.
"The evidence continues to highlight the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy, but also shows the risk to pregnant women when they are not vaccinated and get COVID-19," she said.
Overall, 78% of eligible county residents aged 12 and up have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 70% are fully vaccinated. Of the county's overall 10.3 million population, including 1.3 million kids under age 12 who are ineligible for the shots, 67% have at least one dose, and 60% are fully vaccinated.