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LA County COVID hospitalizations continue to stabilize

Los Angeles County’s coronavirus hospitalizations are down by six people, with 1,059 COVID-positive patients in local hospitals, according to the latest state figures released Saturday.

Of these patients, 118 were treated in intensive care, up from 120 the day before.

District officials said about 43% of COVID-positive patients were actually admitted for virus-related illnesses, while the others were admitted for other reasons, with some not learning they were infected until they were tested at the hospital.

The latest numbers come a day after the county reported 3,995 new infections and 19 more COVID-related deaths, bringing its total to 3,351,082 cases and 32,922 deaths since the pandemic began.

The number of new COVID infections reported each day by the county is believed to be an understatement of actual viral activity because many people are taking home tests, the results of which aren’t always reported to the county.

The county moved to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “moderate” virus activity category Thursday as the average daily rate of people admitted to hospitals for COVID-related reasons fell — just below 10 per 100,000 residents . CDC figures put the county’s virus-related admissions rate at 9.9 per 100,000 people.

That was good enough to escape the “high” category the county entered in mid-July, raising the possibility of another indoor mask mandate. The district finally decided against the new mandate and referred to the steadily improving number of infections and hospital admissions.

Masks are still required in some settings, including healthcare facilities, homeless shelters, on board transit vehicles and in transit centers, and in correctional facilities.

“While we are grateful that our county is moving to the middle community level because we know that contagion causes disruption in the workplace and in the family, and for some contagion leads to a debilitating illness, we advise caution and continued Adopting a sensible approach to reduce the risk of exposure and prevent serious illness,” Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health, said in a statement Friday. “All the tools available are helping: vaccinations and boosters reduce the risk of serious illnesses, testing before and after gatherings, wearing masks indoors, and staying home and away from others when an illness reduces transmission.”

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