Hospitalization numbers go down within L.A. Photo via Pixabay.

The number of COVID-19-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals continued a steady drop Tuesday, while health officials urged precautions against virus spread at workplaces to prevent outbreaks.

According to state figures, there were 915 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals as of Tuesday, down from 930 on Saturday, the last day for which figures were available. Of those patients, 104 were being treated in intensive care, up from 94 on Saturday.

County officials have said that roughly 43% of the COVID-positive patients were actually admitted for virus-related illness, while the others were admitted for other reasons, with some only learning they were infected when they were tested at the hospital.

The county reported another 2,314 COVID cases on Tuesday, raising the overall total from throughout the pandemic to 3,386,161. Another 14 deaths were also reported, giving the county a cumulative virus-related death toll of 33,041.

The county-reported case figures are believed to under-count the actual number of infections, since many people now rely on at-home tests, the results of which are often not relayed to county health officials.

The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 9.6% as of Tuesday.

COVID case numbers and hospitalizations have been steadily dropping for weeks, as have the number of outbreaks in Southland workplaces. As of Monday, there were 61 active worksite outbreaks in the county, down from 93 a month ago, according to the county Department of Public Health.

Health officials noted that employers are still required to report outbreaks, defined as three or more lab-confirmed cases within a 14-day period. Employers are also still required to make medical-grade masks available to employees who wish to wear them.

“It is encouraging to see L.A. County reporting a steady decline in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths,” county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “To continue this trend in the fall, we must continue to take steps to protect our communities and workplaces. We know what works — masking, testing, and vaccination, along with other effective safety measures during infections and outbreaks. If all our employers, workers, and customers follow safety protocols, we can limit the number of outbreaks at our job sites and continue to reduce COVID transmission.”

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