Los Angeles County registered 4,690 new COVID-19 cases over the past three days, along with 16 new deaths, with health officials Monday again noting increases in average daily case numbers attributed to the infectious BA.2 subvariant of the virus.
According to the county Department of Public Health, the county averaged 1,553 new COVID cases per day over the past seven days, up from 960 two weeks ago.
Thus far, however, the increased virus transmission has not translated to major jumps in hospitalizations. According to state figures, there were 230 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals as of Monday, up from 12 the day before. Of those patients, 27 were being treated in intensive care, the same as Sunday. Patient totals have leveled off at a relatively low number after a major drop from last winter’s peak in mid-January.
The 4,690 new cases reported for Saturday, Sunday and Monday increased the cumulative total from throughout the pandemic to 2,864,284. The county no longer reports case numbers on weekends. The 16 new fatalities gave the county an overall death toll of 31,938. The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 1.4% as of Monday.
Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer stressed again that the county is still seeing increased transmission of COVID-19, and the infectious BA.2 subvariant of the virus is continuing to spread — now representing 84% of all local cases that undergo special testing to identify variants.
A pair of offshoot “sublineages” of BA.2 have now also been identified, one of which has already been linked to “significant spread” of cases in parts of New York.
“As the more infectious BA.2 dominates and contributes to the increase in cases in L.A. County, residents are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated and boosted if they are not up to date on their vaccinations,” Ferrer said in a statement Monday. “Those who were recently infected with Omicron should consider getting vaccinated or boosted three months after their COVID infection since natural immunity is likely to have waned. With recurring reports of new variants of concern, including sub-lineages of BA.2, we are relieved that the current approved vaccines protect the vaccinated person and those around the vaccinated individual from severe illness.”