LOS ANGELES:- The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) has confirmed 9 new deaths and 255 new cases of COVID-19. Of the 9 new deaths reported today, two people that passed away were over the age of 80, one person who died was between the ages of 65 and 79 and six people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64.
To date, Public Health identified 1,247,361 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County and a total of 24,439 deaths. There are 219 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized and 20% of these people are in the ICU. Testing results are available for over 6,944,000 individuals with 17% of people testing positive. Today’s daily test positivity rate is 0.7%.
While our transmission rates remain reassuringly low, Public Health continues to track the proliferation of variants of concern, because where there are pockets of unvaccinated individuals, these variants can proliferate. Of particular interest is the Delta variants, formerly known as Indian variants. These and their related Kappa variants are the ones involved in the massive outbreaks in India, in the recent surge of cases in the U.K., and in ongoing outbreaks elsewhere worldwide. It appears the Delta variant is highly transmissible, and more contagious even than other highly contagious COVID variants.
Public Health reviews the data identified by both the Public Health Lab and a group of other California laboratories from over 6,500 specimens linked with L.A. County residents. In early April, we started seeing small numbers of Delta variants and a scant few of their related Kappa variants. Over the past few weeks, we have begun to see an increase in Delta variants as a proportion of variants of concern obtained by sequencing.
Between late April and early June, 64 cases of Delta-variant COVID infections were identified among residents of L.A. County, with most of them identified in the last few weeks. Much of the transmission of this variant appears to be occurring within households: 34 of the 64 cases live in a household with one or more other Delta variant cases.
COVID-19 vaccines show to offer protection against most COVID variants circulating in the United States, including the Delta variant.
“So many have lost loved ones and friends to COVID-19, and we mourn with you. You are in our thoughts and prayers every day,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “The science and the data are clear, vaccines are the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 and the Delta variant. This is such good news; after 16 months of enormous upheaval and loss in our County, we can now share a genuine sense of hope. I want to encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as you are able; vaccinations remain widely available throughout L.A. County.”
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