The most recent data reported nearly 3,000 COVID-19 infections and seven more virus-related deaths in Los Angeles County, with health officials again reporting an increase in cases among students and staff.
According to the provincial health ministry, 3,151 students and 737 staff members tested positive for the virus in the week ending May 1, the fifth consecutive week of increases, and a 322% increase from a month ago.
In the week ending May 7, an additional 16 school outbreaks were reported.
County officials noted that while most children who become infected with the virus experience only mild symptoms, “dozens of children” have dealt with “prolonged COVID” and “dozens” of others have been hospitalized.
“As the school year draws to a close, we are all looking forward to celebrating the achievements of students and staff,” Barbara Ferrer, county health director, said in a statement. masking at major events is especially important to avoid future disruptions that occur when the
virus spreads to event attendees. Fortunately, with easy access to vaccines, boosters, tests, therapies and high-quality masks, having fun with others is easily possible without creating undue risks to ourselves and those around us.”
Daily COVID infections are on the rise in the province and elsewhere, with health officials blaming primarily the BA.2 subvariant of the virus, along with an even more contagious offshoot known as BA.2.12.1.
According to the most recent testing on a sample of infections in Los Angeles County, BA.2 and its subvariants accounted for 96% of cases, with 8% of specimens tested identified as BA.2.12.1.
Health officials have said BA.2 was estimated to be 20% to 30% more contagious than the Omicron variant that caused a winter wave in cases, and BA.2.12.1 is believed to be 25% more contagious than BA.2.
But while the number of cases is slowly rising, hospitalizations and death rates have remained low, a fact attributed to higher vaccination and natural immunity rates.
There were 249 COVID-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals on Wednesday, up from 252 on Tuesday. The number of those patients treated in intensive care was 24, down from 27 a day earlier.
The province reported a total of 2,997 new infections on Wednesday, taking the cumulative pandemic total to 2,900,449. The seven other deaths raised the province’s virus-related death toll to 32,007.
The average daily number of people who tested positive for the virus was 2.5% as of Wednesday, about the same as Tuesday.