LA County reports 366 new coronavirus cases as numbers continue to tick upward – Daily News

Los Angeles County reported 366 new cases of COVID-19 and seven additional deaths on Saturday, June 26, as the number of new infections continued to inch higher.

Saturday’s figures brought the county’s totals to 1,249,065 cases and 24,474 fatalities since the pandemic began, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

According to state figures, there were 231 people hospitalized in the county due to COVID-19 as of Saturday, up from 229 on Friday. There were 55 COVID patients in intensive care, down from 57 the previous day.

Over the past several days, the daily number of new cases has reached levels not seen in about six weeks, as health officials continued urging people to get tested if they develop symptoms of the virus, even if they are vaccinated.

The county’s daily testing-positivity rate also inched up, reported at 0.8% as of Saturday, up from 0.74% on Thursday.

Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Thursday that the county was seeing slight but definite increases in average daily infections, hospitalizations and testing-positivity rates — but not sharp enough to spark immediate concerns of spiking cases.

But she said with the continuing spread of the infectious “Delta” variant of virus, which is blamed for rampant infections in India and parts of the United Kingdom, the small increases should be a warning to those who remain unvaccinated to take other precautions, such as mask-wearing and social distancing.

She has repeatedly said COVID-19 is now a pandemic of unvaccinated people — with Black residents seeing a disproportionate share of the recent case and hospitalization increases, reflective of their low vaccination rate.

“Now that we have reopened and safety modifications have been lifted in most settings, we must continue to increase vaccinations,” Ferrer said Friday. “While COVID-19 deaths have dropped dramatically in L.A. County, the deaths that continue to occur are almost 100% among unvaccinated adults. Ninety-nine percent of individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 in L.A. County since January have been unvaccinated.

“While masking and distancing remain effective means for reducing transmission, the most powerful tool we have for keeping cases down and protecting ourselves and others are the COVID-19 vaccines,” she said.