LA County sees third straight drop in number of COVID patients

The number of COVID-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals has fallen for the third day in a row, dropping from nearly 4,700 yesterday to 4,568, according to the latest state figures out today.

However, the number of those patients in intensive care continues to climb, increasing from 769 on Saturday to 774.    The latest numbers came as the county reported another 63 deaths associated with the coronavirus, and 26,354 new positive COVID tests.

Sunday’s number of cases and deaths likely reflect reporting delays over the weekend, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Sunday’s test positivity rate was 15.1%, down from 16.1% on Saturday and from 17.4% last Sunday.

Long Beach’s seven-day positivity rate has begun trending down, now at 28%, according to the latest figure posted Friday.

On Saturday, the county health department said more than 250,000 COVID-19 cases had been confirmed during the past seven days, down from the 291,000 cases reported for the previous seven days.

Officials said residents who test positive should isolate away from others for at least five days. To exit isolation after day five, residents will need a negative COVID-19 viral test, have had no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medicine, and be asymptomatic or have improving symptoms.

Residents who don’t meet these criteria can exit isolation after day 10, provided they have no fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medicine and are asymptomatic or have improving symptoms.

Residents are also asked to determine and notify their close contacts of their exposure. Close contacts include individuals who were less than 6 feet away from the infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period in the 48 hours prior to the newly infected person developing symptoms or testing positive.

Additionally, residents need to wear a well-fitting surgical or higher-grade mask around others both indoors and outdoors for 10 days, even if they are leaving isolation after day five. The best masks that block COVID-19 virus particles are N95, KN95, and KF94 masks.

While the small decreases in our daily cases numbers, hospitalizations and test positivity are hopeful signs that the spread of Omicron is declining, we will need to remain cautious these next few weeks while transmission remains at the highest levels we have ever seen,” county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Saturday.

Los Angeles County has totaled 2,494,097 cases of COVID-19 and 28,480 deaths since the pandemic began.

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