Los Angeles County reported more than 10,000 new COVID-19 infections over a three-day period Monday, along with 30 more fatalities.
The county no longer reports COVID numbers on weekends. On Monday, Aug. 8, the Department of Public Health reported 4,840 new infections from Saturday, 3,416 from Sunday and 2,174 for Monday. Sunday and Monday numbers are traditionally low due to delays in reporting from the weekend.
According to the county, the new cases raised the cumulative total from throughout the pandemic to 3,335,973. The 30 new fatalities gave the county an overall virus-related death toll of 32,856. There was no immediate update from the state on the number of COVID- positive patients in county hospitals, although the number has been trending downward. As of Saturday, there were 1,162 virus-positive patients in the county, with 123 of them being treated in intensive care.
County officials have said that roughly 43% of the patients were actually admitted for COVID-related illness, while the others were admitted for other reasons, with some only learning they were infected when they were tested at the hospital. The county’s seven-day average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 12% as of Monday. Local health officials say they’ve seen a steady downward trend in cases and other pandemic metrics in recent days.
The county on Thursday had hoped to fall out of the federal government’s “high” virus activity category and into the “medium” category. But the average daily rate of new COVID-related hospital admissions just missed the threshold for the “medium” rating. Under metrics developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a county is considered in a “high” activity category if its average daily rate of COVID-related hospital admissions tops 10 per 100,000 residents. The CDC updates the numbers every Thursday.
County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said numbers posted by the CDC on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of last week were all low enough to warrant the move to “medium.” But on Thursday, CDC figures put the county’s COVID-admission rate at 10.1 per 100,000 residents, slightly above the threshold for “high” virus activity.
The county last week began offering doses of the recently approved Novavax COVID-19 vaccine. Ferrer said the vaccine is a more traditional protein- based shot, rather than the mRNA technology used in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. She told the Board of Supervisors this week she hoped the introduction of a more traditional vaccine might convince those who were hesitant to receive the Pfizer or Moderna shots to get vaccinated.
County locations offering the Novavax shots can be found on the website vaccinatelacounty.com. Residents can also contact their health care provider to see if it offers Novavax. Residents 18 years and older can get the Novavax vaccine, which is a two-dose primary series, with the second dose administered three weeks after the first. Boosters are not recommended, and the Novavax vaccine is not authorized for children 17 and younger.