COVID-19 hospitalizations in Los Angeles County rose for a third straight day Wednesday, hovering around the 700 mark, while health officials reported another 17 virus-related deaths and 1,005 new cases.
The county Department of Public Health also reported a continued decline in COVID cases among the homeless, with just 107 new cases this week, compared to about 188 per week in August. Health officials noted that the 107 new cases being reported actually includes 67 that occurred previously, but were only recently classified as involving a homeless person.
Health officials said there have been seven COVID deaths among the homeless this week. To date during the pandemic, there have been 9,307 COVID cases among the homeless in the county, and 244 deaths.
Meanwhile, the 17 new countywide COVID death reported Wednesday lifted the overall county death toll from the virus to 26,353. The 1,005 new cases gave the county a cumulative pandemic total of 1,473,410.
According to state figures, there were 698 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals as of Wednesday, up from 684 on Tuesday. It was the third consecutive day of increases in the number of COVID hospitalizations in the county. Of the hospitalized patients, 193 were being treated in intensive care units, up from 181 on Tuesday.
Despite the three consecutive days of increases, the number of COVID patients in county hospitals has declined 36 times in the past 44 days.
The rolling average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus in the county remained low, at 1%.
“We are grateful to all those supporting and caring for our neighbors experiencing homelessness,” county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “As we have seen over the past six months, lowering community transmission has a ripple effect of reducing cases among those most vulnerable — people experiencing homelessness, residents at nursing homes and children under 12. The most powerful — even if not perfect — tool for slowing spread and saving lives and livelihoods are the three COVID-19 vaccines. Let’s stay focused on getting vaccines to every neighborhood and to everyone not yet vaccinated so that we end this pandemic.”
Overall, 78% of eligible county residents aged 12 and up have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 70% are fully vaccinated. Of the county’s overall 10.3 million population, including 1.3 million kids under age 12 who are ineligible for the shots, 67% have at least one dose, and 60% are fully vaccinated.