It’s not a “surge” by any means, but COVID-19 transmission continues to be widespread across Los Angeles County, the public health director said on Thursday, April 28, noting increases in key metrics used to track the virus and warning of the suddenly increased presence of yet another even more communicable variant.
In pure numbers, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer reported another 2,335 COVID infections in the county on Thursday. The daily average number of new cases logged by the county over the past seven days rose to 1,764, up from 1,261 the previous week, she said.
The daily average case number is roughly triple the number it was a month ago, Ferrer said.
She also noted small but steady increases over the past week in the number of COVID-positive people in county hospitals. The number increased to 249 on Thursday, up from 235 on Wednesday. The number of those patients being treated in intensive care was 30, up from 28 a day earlier.
Ferrer noted that those numbers are still relatively low when compared to the winter surge numbers that topped 8,000. She credited widespread vaccination, therapeutics and immunity from prior infection for preventing people who are getting infected from winding up hospitalized.
Health officials have warned in recent weeks that the rising case numbers may actually be bigger than the figures reflected by testing results —since many people are testing at home and may not be reporting results to the county. And many others may not be getting tested at all because they are not becoming seriously ill.
In hopes of countering those lapses, the county monitors concentrations of COVID in four wastewater systems across the area. The most recent results show that the average concentration of the virus found in most of those systems has risen sharply, with two of them showing nearly double the rate from two weeks ago, and a third showing a sharp upward rise. But the fourth system monitored actually showed a small decrease.