Covid patient
COVID Patient - Photo courtesy of Pordee_Aomboon on Shutterstock

Another 1,433 COVID-19 infections were reported in Los Angeles County Tuesday, while the number of virus-positive patients in county hospitals dropped slightly.

The new cases gave the county a cumulative total of 3,497,583 infections recorded throughout the pandemic. Daily case numbers released by the county are an undercount of actual infections, since many residents rely on at-home tests and do not report those results to county health officials.

Another eight COVID-related deaths were reported Tuesday, raising the county’s overall death toll to 34,023.

According to state figures, there were 440 COVID-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals as of Tuesday, down from 453 on Saturday. Of those patients, 53 were being treated in intensive care units.

The seven-day average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus rose slightly, reaching 5.9% as of Tuesday.

County health officials last week noted some slight increases in virus-tracking metrics, including the average daily case numbers. Combined with an earlier-than-usual flu season, health officials have been urging residents to get vaccinated against COVID and influenza.

“With recent unusually high levels of flu and other respiratory diseases, there are signs the county could be headed toward a COVID surge this fall and winter,” county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Friday. “As families are about to start their holiday travel and get-togethers, it continues to be important to follow simple steps to prevent respiratory illness and COVID-19. The first, and most important, health measure we can take is to receive the new COVID-19 bivalent booster if we are at least two moths out from our last dose.”

According to the county, while 85% of residents aged 5 and older have received their initial COVID vaccinations, only 11% of those eligible have taken advantage of the new bivalent booster, which is designed to combat the currently circulating Omicron variants of the virus.

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