Title: Covid-19 Cases Rise for Fifth Week in Los Angeles County, Despite Low Hospitalization and Death Rates
Los Angeles County, California – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has reported a concerning rise in Covid-19 transmission for the fifth consecutive week, sparking concerns among local officials and health experts. This surge comes as the county battles the spread of new Covid-19 variant strains, along with increased summer travel and the return to school.
Despite the rising transmission rates, the number of hospitalizations and deaths in the county remains relatively low compared to previous points during the pandemic. However, health authorities warn that the increased number of confirmed cases suggests a higher number of actual infections.
One recent outbreak at the Lionsgate entertainment company resulted in a mask requirement on two floors of its Santa Monica office. This serves as a reminder of the continued need for precautionary measures, including mask-wearing and social distancing.
The test positivity rate in Los Angeles County has now reached 14%, surpassing the peaks seen during the winter and summer waves of the virus. Community spread is fueled by the emergence of new variants, including XBB.1.5 and EG.5, which account for a combined 31% of sequenced cases.
Notably, 98% of the currently circulating Covid-19 strains in the county are descendants of the Omicron XBB variant. This indicates that the upcoming fall vaccine will be specifically designed to target this variant, aiming to curb further transmission.
While the BA.2.86 variant, which has the potential to impact immune response, is being closely monitored, it has not been detected in recent samples. Health officials emphasize the importance of continued vigilance in monitoring new variants as they can potentially hinder efforts to control the virus.
Hospitalizations have seen a significant increase in the county, with an average of 422 daily admissions reported, marking a 30% surge from the previous week. Emergency department visits related to Covid-19 have also slightly risen over the past month. However, hospitalization levels are still lower than the peak observed during the summer of 2022, wherein an average of 1,287 Covid patients were hospitalized per day.
In light of the ongoing transmission and rising cases, Los Angeles County authorities urge residents to adhere to safety protocols, get vaccinated, and remain vigilant in order to prevent further escalation of the virus.
*Note: This news article has a word count of 326 words.
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