Another eight COVID-19-related deaths were reported in Los Angeles County Tuesday, along with 1,430 new cases, as health officials urged people to take steps to avoid another fall or winter surge of virus cases.
The 1,430 new cases lifted the county's overall number since the pandemic began to 3,420,213. Cases reported early in the week tend to be undercounts due to delays in reporting from the weekend. Health officials also note that official case numbers are likely low due to the number of people who rely on at-home tests but do not report the results to the county.
With eight new virus-related deaths, the county's death toll rose to 33,217.
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There was no immediate update from the state on the number of COVID- positive patients in county hospitals. As of Saturday, that number was 777, with 93 of them being treated in intensive care units.
The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 7.4% as of Tuesday, roughly the same as Monday.
With the summer nearing a close and fall/winter weather ahead -- pushing more people indoors -- county health officials on Tuesday urged residents to get vaccinated and take precautions to prevent spread of the virus -- and lower the odds of new variants evolving that could lead to another surge in infections.
"As we transition from the summer to fall, we can follow simple health measures now to reduce the potential risk of a surge," county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. "COVID-19 is still a dangerous virus for some of our family members, work colleagues and friends. By being fully vaccinated and boosted, especially with the new boosters against the more infectious Omicron subvariants of the virus, we are helping to protect others in our communities, especially those at highest risk for severe consequences should they become infected."
Newly approved booster shots designed to target the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the Omicron strain of the virus will be available in the county starting Wednesday. Details on where the vaccines will be available are at vaccinatelacounty.com, or in Spanish, vacunatelosangeles.com.
The newly approved Pfizer/BioNTech booster is for those age 12 and over, while the Moderna bivalent booster is for those age 18 and older.