LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles County reported 2,781 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 additional deaths Sunday, though health officials said the case numbers and deaths may reflect delays in weekend reporting.
In a slight bit of good news, the number of coronavirus patients in county hospitals dropped for the fourth consecutive day, declining from 1,746 on Saturday to 1,722, according to state figures. That number was 1,786 on Thursday. However, there were 439 COVID patients in intensive care on Sunday, up from 435 the day before.
The latest figures brought the county's totals to 1,383,186 cases and 25,071 fatalities since the pandemic began, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
On Saturday, the department once again reminded residents that vaccinated people have greater protection against negative health outcomes should they contract the virus.
"Everyone who is not yet vaccinated needs to know they do not have the same protection as vaccinated people," Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said
As of Aug. 7, unvaccinated adults between 18 and 49 years old were 25 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than vaccinated adults of the same age. It's not as simple to measure the number of times more likely this unvaccinated demographic is to die from the disease because there have been "virtually no deaths in vaccinated members of this age group," according to Public Health officials.
Meanwhile, unvaccinated adults over age 50 were nearly a dozen times more likely to be hospitalized than their vaccinated counterparts, and 17 times more likely to die.
"While the vaccines are not perfect, and many of us may know someone who is fully vaccinated and ended up getting COVID, all three vaccines continue to do what we most need them to do: They protect from the worst outcomes of COVID-19 and allow our hospitals and clinics to continue providing the full range of services to everyone who needs health care," Ferrer said.
The latest figures show that 73% of county residents age 12 and over have received at least one dose of vaccine. Among the overall 10.3 million county residents -- including those too young to be eligible for the shots -- 63% have received at least one dose and 55% are fully vaccinated.
"With almost 3 million L.A. County residents 12 and older still not vaccinated, our recovery journey can become compromised," she said.
L.A. County's cumulative death toll increased to 25,061 on Saturday.
There are 1,775 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized countywide, 24% of them in intensive care units.
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"While the highest hospitalization rate is among older unvaccinated adults over 50, hospitalizations in younger unvaccinated adults between the ages of 18 and 49 have increased 226% since July 7," Ferrer said.
"Relative to unvaccinated adults, hospitalization rates among vaccinated adults of all ages remain very low. The data continues to show how well protected vaccinated people are from bad outcomes. Our top priority is vaccinating those not yet vaccinated," she said.
She also said she expects daily new case numbers to remain high in the coming weeks due to the increased testing required at many schools and businesses.
The health department on Friday reminded residents about the need to get tested if they develop symptoms or were exposed to the virus -- even if they are fully vaccinated. Those people should also isolate from others while awaiting test results, according to the county.
The county also urged people to cooperate with contact-tracers, who reach out to those who test positive or have been exposed. The contact-tracing process is considered crucial to identifying people who may have been exposed to the virus without their knowledge, and to containing potential outbreaks. Contact tracers can also provide information about isolation and quarantine and how to access services and providers.
Calls from contact tracers will display on phones as "LA Public Health" or 833-641-0305.
People who have tested positive for COVID-19 but have not received a call from contact tracers were urged to call 833-540-0473.
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