Los Angeles County recorded 3,502 more COVID-19 infections Monday from a three-day span beginning Saturday, while also announcing 36 new virus-related deaths.
The county, which no longer releases COVID data on weekends, reported 1,705 new infections from Saturday, 1,072 from Sunday and 725 on Monday. Sunday and Monday figures tend to be low due to delays in reporting from the weekend.
The case numbers officially reported by the county are also believed to be low due to the popularity of at-home tests, the results of which are generally not relayed to the county.
The new cases gave the county an official overall total of 3,441,113 from throughout the pandemic.
The 36 new deaths -- 16 reported Saturday, 11 Sunday and nine Monday -- lifted the county's overall death toll to 33,483.
An update was not immediately available on the number of COVID- positive patients in county hospitals. As of Saturday, there were 674 virus-positive patients hospitalized in the county, with 89 of them being treated in intensive care.
County officials have said about 43% of patients with COVID were actually hospitalized due to virus-related illness, while the rest were admitted for other reasons, with some only learning they were infected when they were tested upon admission.
The county has been reporting downward trends in local infection rates and in the number of people hospitalized with the virus. Ferrer said last week the county's seven-day average new case rate was on the verge of falling below 100 per 100,000 residents. When the county crosses that threshold, possibly by the end of the month, it will further relax its recommendation for indoor mask wearing.
Masks are currently "strongly recommended'' in most indoor settings. But the falling case rate will change it to an "individual preference.''
Masks continue to be required in select settings, including health care facilities, correctional facilities and homeless shelters. Masks are currently still required aboard public transit vehicles such as buses and trains, but Ferrer said that requirement could also end soon.