The number of COVID-19-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals crept back above 500 Tuesday, while the county reported the virus-related death of another juvenile.
Details about the fatality were not released, with the county Department of Public Health saying only that the person was a child under age 18. It marked the 14th COVID-related death of a juvenile in the county since the pandemic began.
The death was one of 12 reported Tuesday by the county, lifting the overall death toll to 33,709.
According to state figures, there were 508 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals as of Tuesday, up from 494 on Saturday, the last day for which numbers were available. Of those patients, 69 were being treated in intensive care, up from 55 on Saturday.
COVID hospitalizations numbers have been generally declining over the past few months, reflecting overall decreases in virus transmission in the county. In mid-July, there were more than 1,300 virus-positive patients in county hospitals.
County officials have said that roughly 40% of those patients were admitted specifically for COVID, while the others were hospitalized for other reasons but tested positive upon admission.
The county reported 1,133 new COVID infections on Tuesday, raising the overall number from throughout the pandemic to 3,459,997.
Daily case numbers reported by the county have been steadily falling for weeks, although health officials have conceded that the official figures could be misleading due to residents primarily using at-home tests that aren’t reported to the county.
As of Tuesday, the average seven-day rate of people testing positive for the virus in the county was 4.2%.
Due to uncertainty surrounding the daily COVID infection numbers, county health officials have been closely monitoring virus levels detected in county wastewater systems to track trends in case levels.
County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer last week said analysis of those systems showed a leveling off of COVID levels, potentially signaling that virus transmission was no longer decreasing. But she said all other monitoring efforts still indicate a low level of concern, and the county is “hopeful that transmission is not increasing at this time.”