A COVID-19 vaccine is administered at a mobile clinic in West Long Beach. Photo by Sebastian Echeverry.

Los Angeles County Public Health officials reported 2,600 new COVID-19 infections—the fourth consecutive day above 2,500 cases—and 10 additional deaths Saturday.

Health officials have repeatedly blamed the current surge in cases on the highly infectious delta variant of the virus. The variant was first discovered in India and is blamed for rampant infections in that country, along with outbreaks in the United Kingdom. It is now spreading across the United States, contributing to rising case numbers and hospitalizations.

The rate of increase in cases in the county between July 3 and 16 was 135%.

There are 688 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized in LA County and 21% of those are in the intensive care unit. Testing results are available for more than 7,241,000 people, with 16% of people testing positive. Saturday’s daily test positivity rate was 4.9%.

The total number of cases during the pandemic is now 1,281,760, while the county’s death toll rose to 24,624 fatalities on Saturday.

The county Department of Public Health noted that unvaccinated people are becoming infected at five times the rate of transmission from just one month ago. Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said without the vaccines, the situation would be much worse.

“If we didn’t have 5.3 million people fully vaccinated in LA County, we would probably be seeing almost double the number of cases today,” Ferrer said in a statement Friday. “For those eligible and not yet vaccinated, now would be an important time to get your vaccine because our three vaccines all offer a lot of protection to the vaccinated person and also slow down the spread.”