The number of COVID-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals fell for the eighth consecutive day Tuesday, decreasing from 3,720 to 3,710, according to the latest state figures.

Of those patients, 719 were in intensive care, down from 749 a day earlier.

County officials have said that many COVID-positive patients entered a hospital for other reasons and only discovered they had the coronavirus after a mandated test.

A little more than a week ago, there were over 4,800 COVID-positive patients, but the number has been steadily declining.

The latest numbers come one day after local health officials reported 40 additional deaths associated with the virus, increasing the county’s death toll to 28,963 since the pandemic began. Another 10,715 positive COVID tests were also reported Monday, giving the county a cumulative pandemic total of 2,659,414.

The number of new COVID cases and deaths confirmed Monday were likely an undercount, representing delays in reporting from the weekend.

The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus also continued to fall, reaching 8.8% as of Monday, down from 9.1% a day earlier and below the 13.2% rate a week earlier.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported generally good compliance with masking and vaccination requirements among businesses such as restaurants, bars, nightclubs and breweries. According to the county, compliance was above 90% for such establishments during the week of Jan. 21-27. The rate was around 80% for mask-wearing compliance in gyms that week, and around 74% at garment manufacturers.

“We are encouraged with the high rates of compliance at local businesses where for months customers and employees have taken responsibility for wearing masks,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. “With thousands of new people infected each day and a variant circulating that evades some of our vaccine protection, masking, when in close contact with others, remains an important layer of protection, especially for essential workers.”

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