COVID-19 hospitalization numbers continued an unsettling upward climb in Los Angeles County.
The latest state figures show nearly 900 people being treated for the virus -- more than double the number from just two weeks ago.
According to state numbers released Tuesday, there were 891 people hospitalized due to COVID in the county, up from 825 the previous day. That's the highest number since March 13, and more than double the number from July 12, when the county reported 372 people hospitalized.
There were 195 people in intensive care, up from 182 reported on Monday, according to the state.
The numbers, while increasing, are still well below the more than 8,000 people hospitalized during the winter surge.
The county reported another 1,966 COVID cases on Monday, a day on which numbers are traditionally lower due to reporting lags from the weekend. The new cases lifted the cumulative county total from throughout the pandemic to 1,285,771.
Another four deaths due to COVID were also reported, raising the county's death toll to 24,631.
Health officials have repeatedly blamed the recent surge in cases on the highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus. The variant was first discovered in India and is blamed for rampant infections in that country, along with outbreaks in the United Kingdom. It is now spreading across the United States, contributing to rising case numbers and hospitalizations.
The average daily rate of people testing positive for COVID-19 in the county was 5.2% as of Monday, up from 4.8% reported on Sunday.
County health officials said last week that unvaccinated people are five times more likely to be infected by COVID-19 as vaccinated people. On Monday, state officials said the average daily infection rate among unvaccinated people across California was nearly seven times higher than that of vaccinated people.
Although some fully vaccinated people have still been infected with COVID-19, they are highly unlikely to become seriously ill or require hospitalization, health officials said. The county reported last week that 20% of all new infections reported in the county in June were among fully vaccinated people.
Los Angeles County recently mandated indoor masking for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has previously resisted such a mandate, but the agency on Tuesday reversed course and recommend mask-wearing by everyone in indoor settings in parts of the country experiencing infection surges.
Most recent figures from the county show that about 71% of residents aged 16 and older have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine, and 62% are fully vaccinated. Among seniors aged 65 and older, 88% have received at least one dose, and 79% are fully vaccinated.