The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 2,551 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday. According to officials, this is a 20-fold increase in a month, up from 124 new Covid-19 cases reported on June 21. It’s also a 40% increase just over the past 24 hours, when the daily count hit 1,821.
Of the new cases, 83% are among people under the age of 50 years old. That’s likely an indication of the prevalence of the Delta variant, which is more transmissible. On Wednesday, Governor Gavin Newsom said the more virulent variant now accounted for over 60% of the tested genomically sequenced in the state.
Wednesday’s test positivity rate in L.A. was 5.2%, up from 4.8% on Tuesday. The rate was 0.7% a month ago. Test positivity is often seen as one of the best indications of rate of spread, given that it is not impacted by the number of tests administered.
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Even with its stringent production protocols, Hollywood has not been immune from the recent uptick. Deadline reported on Wednesday that HBO was pausing production on the fourth season of Westworld as a result of a positive Covid test. The sci-fi show joins a number of series that have had to hit pause due to Covid. American Horror Story was hit this week, while on the other side of the pond, Deadline revealed pauses for shows such as House of the Dragon and Bridgerton.
There were 585 people with Covid-19 hospitalized in the county on Wednesday and 23% of these people are in the ICU. One month ago, on June 21, there were 213 people hospitalized with Covid. Hospitalizations are seen as a lagging indicator that surge after daily cases and test positivity.
The jump comes just days after Los Angeles’s Health Officer issued an order for masks to again be worn in all public indoors spaces. While Governor Newsom has declined to re-impose such sanctions, over 20 of the state’s 58 counties have gone back to some sort of indoor mask guidance. The latest are Santa Barbara, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, Santa Cruz, Ventura, Lake and San Joaquin.
Of the seven new deaths reported, two people that passed away were between the ages of 65 and 79, three people who passed were between the ages of 50 and 64 and one person who passed was between the ages of 30 and 49. One death was reported by the City of Long Beach. To date, L.A. officials have identified a total of 24,594 Covid-related deaths.