With High COVID Community Transmission in L.A. County, Masking Indoors Adds A Layer of Protection

2,600 New Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County and 10 New Deaths

LOS ANGELES, July 24, – After many months of low transmission, L.A. County is now seeing a surge in cases that looks similar to last summer. This is due to the more infectious Delta variant and the intermingling of unmasked individuals where vaccination status is unknown. According to Center for Disease Control (CDC) indicators and thresholds for community transmission of COVID-19, L.A. County is now at the level of high community transmission.

While cases are still at a much lower point than they were during any of the previous surges, the rate of increase between July 3 and 16 was 135%. The last time cases rose as quickly as they are now was in early December of last year during the winter surge.

While the vaccines remain our most powerful tool to reduce spread of the virus, the highly infectious Delta variant and increased community transmission requires us to add additional layers of protection to slow transmission as we work to increase vaccination rates

For this reason, masks are required in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status. Wearing masks make it harder for there to be transmission among both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals.

Today, Public Health is reporting 10 new deaths and 2,600 new cases of COVID-19. Of the 10 new deaths reported today, two people that passed away were over the age of 80, three people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79, three people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 and one person who died was between the ages of 30 and 49. One death was reported by the city of Long Beach.

To date, Public Health identified 1,281,760 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 24,624 deaths. There are 688 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 21% of these people are in the ICU. Testing results are available for over 7,241,000 individuals with 16% of people testing positive. Today’s daily test positivity rate is 4.9%.

“To the families that are mourning their loved one who has passed away from COVID-19, we mourn with you and wish you peace and healing,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “The Delta variant is one of the most aggressive and infectious respiratory diseases known, and currently makes up over 80% of sequenced cases in L.A. County. We do, however, have a very powerful tool in the COVID vaccinations. With unvaccinated individuals comprising over 90% of those currently hospitalized, the ability of the three vaccines to protect us from serious illness caused by the Delta variant is well established. Please know that evidence continues to accumulate in studies done by private and government scientists and researchers noting that the vaccines are safe, and they save lives. If you are eligible but have not yet been vaccinated, please consider getting vaccinated now.”

Now through Thursday, July 29 at County-run vaccination sites, LA City sites, and St. John’s Well Child and Family Center sites, everyone 18 and older coming to get a vaccine will have an opportunity to win one of seven packages of tickets to an array of concerts presented by AEG.

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