Los Angeles County COVID-19 ‘cases are surging, hospitalizations are increasing’


LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles County on Monday reported 1,584 new coronavirus cases and 48 additional deaths, bringing the county's totals to 116,570 cases and 3,534 deaths.

The county's Public Health Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer reminded the public that the number of new cases reported on Monday's tend to be lower due to a lag in reporting from hospitals and labs over the weekend.

The county has seen a drastic spike in confirmed cases over the last week, reporting its highest amount of daily new cases since the beginning of the pandemic on Friday with 3,187 cases.

With test results now available for more than 1.1 million individuals, 9% are testing positive in the county. The seven-day average of the daily positivity rate has increased from 5.8% three weeks ago to 9.5% as of Monday.

Some officials have attributed the rise in overall cases to increases in testing, but county officials said repeatedly in recent days that the metrics clearly demonstrate an increase in community spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

"Cases are surging, hospitalizations are increasing and mostly, this is all a reflection of a lot more community spread," said Ferrer.

Health officials acknowledged the problem of quarantine fatigue, noting that residents are anxious to get back to normal life and may see the reopening of businesses across the county as a sign the virus is disappearing — leading to a lack of social distancing and a failure to wear face coverings.

In addition to the rise in case numbers, hospitalization rates are also on the rise. Governor Gavin Newsom said Monday that COVID-19 hospitalizations in the state are up 50% over the past 14 days, adding that patients who require beds in the intensive care unit have increased by 39%.

The county is also seeing the rise in hospitalizations. Ferrer said there are 1,921 individuals currently hospitalized with the virus, adding that 28% of those hospitalized are in the ICU.

Hospitalizations for individuals between 18 and 40 years old have also increased from a little over 10% of hospitalized cases in April to about 25% in July.