Local officials are encouraging residents to get vaccinated and follow safety guidelines
Over 3,000 new cases of the COVID-19 virus have been reported in Los Angeles County over the past several days. This is the largest number of new cases since that Los Angeles County has reported since February of this year. Health officials are reporting that they have seen an 80 percent increase in cases of the new Delta variant which is alarming many since this variant of the virus is highly contagious and even those who have been vaccinated can still possibly spread the it to those who are unvaccinated.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, Supervisor Holly Mitchell and a number of other area local officials are urging residents to remain committed to stopping the spread of the virus. Last week, Los Angeles County reinstituted the mandatory mask wearing requirements in doors and restaurants have returned, in large part, to serving outdoors.
Many local businesses are concerned that Los Angeles is headed back towards another shut down and many businesses, including The Los Angeles Sentinel, have postponed their plans to return staff into the office and will continue working remotely throughout the summer months.
Last week, as reported in the Sentinel, Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital has seen an extreme growth in the number of cases that coming into the hospital. According to health officials, hospitalizations are on the rise once again and the majority of those who are being admitted into the hospital are the unvaccinated. The greater concern is that a large number of those who are now coming down with the virus are younger. “Early on, younger people felt that they were invincible and didn’t need to take precautions or get vaccinated, but they are quickly learning that is not the case.” stated one local health care worker who was not authorized to speak publicly.
Just this week 10 deaths have been reported as a result of COVID that is in stark contrast to just a month ago when Los Angeles County had no deaths for several weeks for the first time in over a year. State officials said that while vaccines still provide strong protection, 20 percent of last month’s new cases occurred among the fully vaccinated. Los Angeles Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said the increase is normal given the continued rise in the number of people who are getting fully vaccinated.
People who had been couped up for over a year and saw the Fourth of July holiday weekend as an opportunity to finally spend time with family and friends. But this sudden surge in public and private gatherings is seen as one of the many culprits leading up to this new surge of the virus spread. Health officials are repeatedly placing the culpability of current surge in cases on the spreading of the even more infectious “Delta” variant of the COVID virus.
According to State figures, there were 688 people hospitalized in Los Angeles County due to COVID as of Friday, up from 655 on Thursday and the highest number since late March. There were 146 people in intensive care, down slightly from 148 on Thursday. With the additional seven COVID deaths reported by the county on Friday, the overall death toll was brought to 24,614.
“If we didn’t have 5.3 million people fully vaccinated in L.A. County, we would probably be seeing almost double the number of cases today,” Ferrer said in a statement on Friday. “For everyone, common-sense precautions, including masking when indoors, frequent hand-washing and avoiding crowds will reduce your risk while allowing you to continue to enjoy the activities you love.”
CBS News reported that L.A. County figures released Thursday showed that among roughly 4.85 million fully vaccinated residents from Jan. 19 through Tuesday, only 6,520 tested positive for the virus for a rate of 0.13%. That figure is up from 0.09% last week.