Los Angeles County reported 2,916 new cases of COVID-19 and 57 more deaths Saturday, providing further evidence that the coronavirus pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down this summer.
The latest figures bring the county's totals to 130,242 cases and 3,793 fatalities.
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Hospitalizations continue to rise as well, with more than 2,000 people currently hospitalized, 27% of them in intensive care units and 18% on ventilators. Those numbers are substantially higher than the 1,350 to 1,450 daily hospitalizations seen four weeks ago, according to the Los Angeles County] Department of Public Health.
Testing results were available for over 1.3 million people, with 9% testing positive.
The average daily positivity rate over the past seven days, however, was at 10% as of Friday. That number is up from the 8.4% rate of about a week ago, but slightly below the 11.6% rate it reached earlier this week.
Of the deaths reported Saturday, 37 people were over the age of 65, 11 were between the ages of 41 and 65, and three were between the ages of 18 and 40.
County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said multiple times this week that the increasing numbers of cases and hospitalizations could lead to spiking numbers of deaths in the coming weeks.
On Thursday, she again warned that younger residents continue to drive the increasing numbers of infections, and those people can easily pass the infection to people more vulnerable to serious complications or death.
“Younger people infect everybody else,'' she said. “They don't just get to choose, I'm only going to infect a low-risk person that I know is going to be able to tolerate COVID-19. That's not how it works. As a young person, you inadvertently unknowingly could be infecting people even in your age cohort who then go on and infect somebody else who's at risk and actually may even die.''
Fears of the virus spreading among young people are particularly acute over the weekend, with a heat wave driving up temperatures, likely leading to large crowds at Southland beaches.