Los Angeles County Sees Drop in COVID Hospitalizations | KFI AM 640

Los Angeles County Sees Drop in COVID Hospitalizations | KFI AM 640

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The number of patients hospitalized with a coronavirus infection in Los Angeles County dropped by 29 to 1,024, according to the latest state numbers released Saturday.

Of these patients, 125 were being treated in intensive care, up from 137 the day before.

Many patients entered the hospital for other reasons and found out they had COVID after a hospital test.

The latest data comes a day after local health officials reported 1,534 new infections and 25 more virus-related deaths, bringing the county’s cumulative total to 3,659,260 cases and 34,969 deaths since the pandemic began.

Health officials have stressed, however, that the official number of cases is undercounted because of the large number of people who rely on home tests without reporting the results to the county. Other people don’t test at all, even though they may be infected, officials said.

“Every day we strive to make the choices that are best for us, our families and the communities we live in,” county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Friday. “The pandemic is not over; however, we are likely to have entered a new phase as we use all the advances in vaccines, testing and therapy. Lower transmission protects everyone, especially those most vulnerable to severe disease or death. There may be challenges ahead, but I’m encouraged by the current situation, especially compared to this time last year. And I remain grateful to the many people of LA County who are taking steps to minimize the impact of the disease.”

During a press conference Thursday, Ferrer pointed to declines in average daily new infections and hospitalizations.

Ferrer said the seven-day average daily number of new virus infections in the county was about 1,900 as of Thursday, down from about 2,300 in early January. The county is averaging 162 virus-related hospital admissions per day, up from 192 in late December and 211 in early January, she said.

While the average number of admissions has fallen, “this number is still high,” Ferrer said, saying the figure is “on par with the peak of summer growth.”

“This is a reminder that while our numbers are currently stable, they are stable at an elevated level,” she said.

The county is also averaging 23 new COVID-related deaths per day, up from 15 in the last week of December. Ferrer said the increase was expected, given the increase in the number of cases that occurred at the end of the year.

Ferrer also presented numbers showing the disproportionate impact of hospitalizations and deaths from COVID on people age 80 and older. She said the death rate for that age group was five times the rate for people aged 65 to 79 and the hospitalization rate was three times higher.

Most people who die of COVID-19 are elderly or have an underlying health condition.

Ferrer again encouraged residents to continue taking precautions such as wearing masks indoors and making sure they are up to date on vaccines and boosters.

LA County remains in the federal government’s “average” transmission range. Masks are still required indoors in healthcare and assembly facilities, for anyone who has been exposed to the virus in the past 10 days, and in businesses where they are required by the owner. Otherwise, they are strongly recommended for indoor use only.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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