L.A. County Reports 11 New Covid-19 Deaths And 1827 New Positive Cases Ahead Of Reintroduction Of Masking Mandate

On Saturday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 11 new deaths from Covid-19, as well as 1827 new positive cases and 462 hospitalizations.

Today’s numbers bring L.A. County to a total of 24,579 deaths from the coronavirus, and 1,266,227 confirmed cases.

Test results have now been made available to nearly 7,170,000 people, with 16% testing positive. Today’s daily test positivity rate is 3.7%.

COVID-19 Daily Update:

July 17, 2021

New Cases: 1,827 (1,266,227 to date)

New Deaths: 11 (24,579 to date)

Current Hospitalizations: 462 pic.twitter.com/I44FXs69i1

— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) July 17, 2021

Two of the people whose deaths were reported today were over the age of 80. Two were between the ages of 65 and 79; five were between the ages of 50 and 64. One person who died was between the ages of 30 and 49, while another was between the ages of 18 and 29.

Case numbers and deaths announced today may reflect delays in weekend reporting. The Department said, though, that the “rapid increase” in Covid-19 transmission within the County is “alarming.”

Covid cases have gone up by a factor of of eight since the County’s June 15 reopening, increasing four-fold since July 4. The surge is attributed to “the intermingling of unmasked individuals where vaccination status is unknown,” and the increasing spread of the highly infectious Delta variant.

At present, more than five million L.A. residents are fully vaccinated. Still, nearly 4 million have not been vaccinated, including 1.3 million children under the age of 12.

The County is therefore reintroducing its mandate, requiring masking in all indoor public places, tonight at 11:59 PM. The mandate applies to all residents regardless of vaccination status, though it includes exceptions for children under the age of two, for those with medical conditions or disabilities that prevent masking, and for those whose job doesn’t permit masking.

Delta Variant and Unmasked Intermingling Cause COVID-19 Cases to Increase Four-Fold Since 4th of July; Masking Indoors Begins Tonight – 11 New Deaths and 1,827 New Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County. View https://t.co/W1kwuDvyaI pic.twitter.com/TzRvFbj0Nm

— LA Public Health (@lapublichealth) July 17, 2021

“The level of COVID-19 transmission we are currently experiencing is now leading to significant increases in serious illness and hospitalizations, and requires us to take immediate action to prevent erosion of our recovery efforts. And while vaccinations are by far the most powerful tool we have, we are nowhere near herd immunity,” said Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. “Please help us get back to slowing the spread by wearing your mask indoors. And for those eligible and not yet vaccinated, please consider getting vaccinated as soon as possible as our full recovery is in jeopardy until more people are vaccinated.”

Los Angeles County Public Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis said on Thursday that the County will consider reimplementing other health restrictions, such as capacity limits and social distancing, if need be.

“Everything is on the table,” he said, “if things continue to get worse.”

But while Los Angeles is now in a category indicating “Substantial” spread of Covid, County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said on Friday that his department will not enforce the masking requirement.

Covid-19 vaccines remain available to those 12 and older, who are living or working in Los Angeles County.

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