Los Angeles County reported 1,224 new cases ofCOVID-19 and 23 additional deaths today, bringing the county’s totals to 311,745 cases and 7,097 fatalities.

Long Beach, meanwhile, reported 87 additional cases on Tuesday for a total of 13,451 and no new deaths, for a total of 259.

The numbers come as public health officials continued to warn that the area’s coronavirus crisis is worsening and threatens to become even more dire during the upcoming holiday season unless behaviors rapidly change.

“With our cases increasing, we are concerned about holiday gatherings and cooler weather where people are more likely to gather indoors. These are perfect conditions for spreading COVID-19,” the Los Angeles County HealthDepartment tweeted.

County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Monday that surveys of residents and patients who have become infected with the coronavirus show steady increases in interactions with people outside their own households, providing mounting evidence of residents ignoring health orders. She said an ongoing USC study found that for the week ending Oct. 20, 57% of survey respondents reported being in close contact with someone they don’t live within the previous seven days.

The study also found that roughly one-third of respondents that week reported visiting another person’s home in the previous seven days, while one-third said they had visitors at their own home. About 10% said they hadattended a gathering of 10 or more people in the past week.

“We don’t have to endure the worst scenarios that this pandemic can create if everyone and every business takes responsibility to stop COVID-19from spreading,” Ferrer said Tuesday. “When safety directives are not followed, we see cases, hospitalizations and deaths increase. When everyone distances, wears face coverings, and follows public health guidance, we see cases, hospitalizations and deaths decrease.”

The number of people hospitalized in the county due to the virus was 798 on Tuesday, up from 777 on Monday but close to the 799 on Sunday.

The county is still in the most restrictive “purple” tier of California’s four-tiered coronavirus monitoring system, and will need to lower daily case numbers to about 700 to have a chance to move up.

“If we do nothing or continue on the path we’re currently on as a country, the cases will continue to rise,” Ferrer said. “… I have faith that we’re going to get back to slowing the spread, and we have to get back to slowing the spread right now.”

She added: “We’d have to stop with the gatherings. … We’re pretty convinced at this point that these smaller gatherings where people feel pretty safe because they’re with friends and extended family are in fact fueling a lot of the increase, because they’re just not as safe as we’d like to believe they are.”