LA County reports nearly 7,000 new COVID cases over holiday weekend

Los Angeles County logged nearly 7,000 new COVID-19 cases over the long holiday weekend, along with 62 more virus-related deaths, according to figures released Tuesday, Jan. 3.

The county Department of Public Health reported 3,488 new infections from Saturday, along with 1,837 from Sunday, 1,035 Monday and 575 Tuesday. The 6,935 new cases lifted the county’s cumulative total from throughout the pandemic to 3,638,639.

The number of new cases reported each day is an undercount of actual virus activity in the county, with many residents relying on at-home tests without reporting the results, or others not testing at all.

With 62 more virus-related fatalities reported from the four-day period, the county’s overall death toll from COVID rose to 34,730.

The seven-day average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 16.1% as of Tuesday, up from 14.7% a week ago.

An updated number of COVID-positive patients in county hospitals was not immediately available. As of Saturday, there were 1,270 such patients hospitalized in the county, with 150 of them being treated in intensive care.

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L.A. County remains in the federal government’s “medium” transmission range. Masks are still required indoors at health-care and congregate-care facilities, for anyone exposed to the virus in the past 10 days, and at businesses where they are required by the owner. Otherwise, they are only strongly recommended at indoor settings.

During a briefing last week, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said she was “hopeful that we can get through this winter without the devastation witnessed during our previous two winter surges, while recognizing that there are still significant risks, especially with the potential of a new COVID strain.”

“We can kick off 2023 in a positive way by taking some common-sense precautions during upcoming celebrations,” she added.

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