Hospital Hallway - Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

The number of COVID-19-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals continued its downward slide Monday.

According to state figures, there were 329 such patients in county hospitals as of Monday, down from 341 on Sunday. The number of those patients being treated in intensive care was 60 as of Monday, up one from the previous day.

The county Department of Public Health, which does not announce COVID numbers on Sundays, reported Monday a total of 1,204 new infections from the past two days. The new cases gave the county a cumulative total from throughout the pandemic of 2,831,103.

Another 26 new virus-related deaths were also announced Monday, raising the county’s overall death toll to 31,619.

The county Department of Public Health has said that the vast majority of people who die of COVID complications have underlying conditions, mainly hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.

The rolling average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 0.7% as of Monday, roughly the same as it has been for the past two weeks.

On Thursday, the department reported an uptick in COVID infections attributed to the BA.2, an offshoot of the Omicron variant that spurred a winter surge in cases and hospitalizations.

According to the county, the BA.2 sub-variant accounted for 14.7% of all specially sequenced cases from the week ending March 5 — more than double the 6.4% rate from the previous week. Experts have suggested that BA.2 is at least 30% more contagious than the Omicron variant, which was already substantially more easily spread than the original COVID-19 virus.

County officials also said they are expanding mobile vaccination efforts to reach homebound residents or others who are unable to reach a vaccine clinic or pharmacy on their own. According to the county, about 9,960 residents considered homebound have been vaccinated in the county in the past year. There are believed to be a total of 10,000 to 15,000 homebound residents in the county.

Information on obtaining mobile vaccination service is available by calling 833-540-0473. Information is also available at vaccinatelacounty.com.

According to the county, as of last Sunday, 83% of eligible county residents aged 5 and older had received at least one dose of COVID vaccine, and 75% were fully vaccinated. However, only 30% of children aged 5-11 have been fully vaccinated, the lowest rate of any age group.

Among Black residents, only 55.4% are fully vaccinated, along with 58.9% of Latina/o residents, compared to 73% of white residents and 82% of Asians.

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