With a holiday weekend upon us, Los Angeles County health officials again urged residents on Friday, May 27 to mark Memorial Day with caution to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“As we celebrate Memorial Day this Monday, I would like to express my gratitude to all members of our Armed Forces and their families who have dedicated their lives to protecting us through their military service,” the Chief Health Officer said. County Public, Barbara Ferrer, in a statement. statement.
“Many of us will be attending events or holding rallies to honor these brave men and women this long weekend. However you plan to spend the holidays, we ask that you reduce the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19 by taking advantage of four powerful tools: vaccinations, masking, testing and therapeutics.
The urgency came amid rising numbers of infections and steadily rising virus-related hospitalization figures.
The county reported 5,800 new cases on Friday, bringing the cumulative total for the entire pandemic to 2,961,673. According to state figures, there were 455 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals, up from 429 on Thursday. The number of those patients treated in intensive care was 55, the same as the day before.
Health officials have noted that many COVID-positive patients have been admitted to hospitals for reasons other than the virus. But Ferrer said Thursday those patients still require advanced levels of care that place additional stress on hospitals.
“They require a lot of different resources that are of a higher intensity, so that inherently puts more pressure on the system,” she said.
The county also reported eight more COVID-related deaths on Friday, giving the county a death toll throughout the pandemic of 32,117.
The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 4.3% on Friday, down from 4.1% on Thursday.
Ferrer announced on Thursday that rising case counts in the county have led to an increase in virus outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities, prompting stricter infection control measures.
Nursing facility staff are now required to wear N95 level masks at all times and undergo testing twice a week, while residents must undergo weekly testing. All communal meals have also been halted and all non-essential indoor group activities are suspended.
Los Angeles County remains in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “medium” virus activity category. According to CDC guidelines, counties in the “medium” category will move to “high” if the rate of new virus-related hospital admissions reaches 10 per 100,000 population, or if 10% of hospital beds staffed with County staff are busy with COVID-positive patients.
Ferrer said the current rate of virus-related hospital admissions in the county is now 4.5 per 100,000 — double the rate from a month ago — and the rate of staffed beds in staff occupied by COVID patients is currently 2.3%.
Although these numbers are well below the level of the “high” category, Ferrer noted that “if we continue on the current trajectory, we could find cases and hospitalizations would end up putting pressure on our hospital system in just a few weeks. “.