Los Angeles County reported 1,602 new cases of COVID-19 and 29 additional deaths today, along with another slight decrease in hospitalizations related to the coronavirus.

Officials with the county’s health department said they continue to see a downward trend in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, providing some reassurance that higher vaccination rates and safety precautions at Labor Day celebrations helped avert the usual increase in cases experienced after major holidays.

On Sept. 15, the 7-day daily case average of COVID-19 was 1,476, the lowest it has been since July 14. Meanwhile, hospitalizations have declined 17% over the last week’s numbers, and after a long plateau, deaths have also declined slightly.

According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention thresholds, transmission in LA County has moved from the “high” to the”substantial” level, with a weekly case rate of 86 new cases per 100,000 residents.

“While we are seeing important gains in our efforts to reduce community spread of COVID-19, we cannot afford to be complacent given the very real risks posed by this virus. We still need to lower the number of new cases so that we enter the fall and winter seasons in the best possible shape to avoid the devastation we endured last year,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.

“We typically see respiratory viruses flourish with the colder weather and when we move activities indoors. If we raise our vaccination rate, protect ourselves and others with masking, and use expanded testing to identify people who are infected early so they can isolate and their close contacts quarantine, we have a chance to avoid another winter surge like we suffered last year,” she added.

Researchers predict stable decline in COVID-19 through March 2022