April 29, 2022 — Coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County have increased 40% over the past week, and hospitalizations have also started to rise, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Health officials are not sounding the alarm on the numbers yet, the newspaper reported, although they said trends show a continued increase in virus transmission.
“Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve all had to make choices about how best to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19,” Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health, told reporters Thursday.
Ferrer called the latest increase “quite significant” and encouraged people to take steps to limit the spread of the virus.
“With cases on the rise, the potential for more contagious variants and plenty of opportunities for exposure, now is a great time to make the choice to get vaccinated or to get vaccinated and wear a mask or respirator when you are in and around others,” she said.
Over the past week, the county has reported an average of about 1,765 new daily cases, up from about 1,260 daily cases a week ago and double the 880 daily cases reported in early April.
On a per capita basis, the county’s case rate rose to 122 cases per week per 100,000 residents, the newspaper reported. The case rate topped 100 over the previous weekend, meaning the nation’s most populous county again has a high transmission rate for the first time since early March.
The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has also increased over the past week after months of decline. As of Friday, 253 patients were hospitalized, according to state data, up from 209 the previous week.
The BA.2 subvariant accounts for about 88% of cases in Los Angeles, the newspaper reported. The newer Omicron subvariant, known as BA.2.12.1, accounts for the majority of cases in New York and New Jersey and will likely become dominant in California in the coming days, Ferrer said.
Sewage monitoring also shows coronavirus levels have doubled in large parts of Los Angeles in the past two weeks, the newspaper reported. Nursing homes, workplaces and schools have also reported an increase in the number of outbreaks over the past two weeks.
“So let’s continue to be careful,” Ferrer said.