Los Angeles County health officials reported 2,089 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, with health officials expressing concern over rising hospital admissions as the highly contagious Delta variant continues to spread.
There are 716 people being treated for Covid-19 in county hospitals, up from 452 on July 16, officials said. The county also reported four new deaths, bringing the total to 24,628 fatalities since the pandemic began.
Coronavirus cases are rising faster in Los Angeles County in the past week than in California as a whole. The county’s seven-day rolling daily average of new cases is 12.3 per 100,000 residents, compared with a state average of 9.5 per 100,000.
On Friday, officials reported 3,058 new infections — the highest figure since mid-February.
“After many months of low transmission, Los Angeles County is now seeing a surge in cases that looks similar to last summer,” the county health department said in a statement.
“This is due to the more infectious Delta variant and the intermingling of unmasked individuals where vaccination status is unknown,” it added.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the county is now at “high” community transmission. “We’re seeing a surge in Covid-19 cases and unvaccinated people are most at risk,” said Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles mayor.
New cases have risen since California’s much-heralded June 15 reopening of most businesses and venues.
“If we didn’t have 5.3m people fully vaccinated … we would probably be seeing almost double the number of cases today,” Barbara Ferrer, county health director, told the KTLA television station. “As cases continue to rise, many of us are trying to figure out what steps to take to minimise exposure to the virus.”
Ferrer noted on Sunday that more than 90 per cent of those now in hospital were unvaccinated. “The ability of the three vaccines to protect us from serious illness caused by the Delta variant is well established,” she said.
Read More: Coronavirus latest: Los Angeles records alarming surge as Delta strain spreads