Public health officials in Los Angeles County preach COVID-19 vigilance as spring break approaches
Public health officials in Los Angeles County preach COVID-19 vigilance as spring break approaches

Public health officials in Los Angeles County preach COVID-19 vigilance as spring break approaches

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – With case numbers slowly rising thanks to the spread of the highly contagious BA.2 sub-variant of COVID-19, Los Angeles County health officials are preaching vigilance, especially as spring break approaches.

The county has seen an increase in daily COVID-19 infections, which correlates with the local spread of BA.2, which is an offshoot of the Omicron variant that fed a winter wave of cases. BA.2, which is considered to be far more contagious than Omicron, is blamed for infection increases in areas such as Australia and the UK.

As of Friday, the county’s average number of daily new COVID-19 infections over the past seven days was 892, up from 724 over the previous seven days – an increase of 23%.

“Although the county has made great strides in keeping outbreaks in many sectors down through a series of security measures, there are millions of vulnerable residents in our communities, many of whom are neighbors, family members or colleagues,” county health director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. Friday.

“For these individuals, increasing transmission associated with the BA.2 subvariant poses a very real threat. As many of us prepare to gather for the upcoming spring break, get vaccinated or boosted, wear a mask indoors in public places and test before and after collection protects the most vulnerable and helps keep transmission lower across our society. “

Ferrer reported Thursday that BA.2 represented 47% of all cases in the county that underwent specialized tests to identify COVID-19 variants, but she said the percentage is likely to be higher as the data reflects cases from two weeks ago. In the previous week, BA.2 represented only 32% of the infections, up from 16% the week before.

However, as BA.2 has increased its foothold in the county and the number of cases has increased as a result, the county has not yet seen a consequent increase in hospitalizations or deaths – a likely result of the county’s overall vaccination rate of 75% combined with the number of persons carrying virus protection due to previous infection.

According to government figures, there were 267 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals as of Saturday, down from 275 on Friday. The number of patients treated in intensive care was 40, an increase from a day earlier.

The county reported a further 16 virus-related deaths on Friday, raising the cumulative death toll to 31,770. A further 1,263 new cases were also reported, raising the total pandemic total to 2,843,599.

The seven-day average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus rose slightly to 1.2% on Friday, up from 1% a day earlier, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, which does not report COVID-19
data on weekends.

Ferrer said Thursday that the number of daily deaths attributed to the virus has continued to decline, averaging 13 a day over the past week, compared to 17 a day a week earlier. The vast majority of people who die from COVID-19 complications have underlying conditions, primarily hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.

However, health authorities fear that with the continued spread of cases comes an increasing threat of another mutation in the virus that could cause more serious illness and evade the protection of vaccines.

Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc.

Copyright © 2022 by City News Service, Inc. All rights reserved.

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