Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer confirmed today what the deadline predicted last week: that the more contagious BA.2 variant of the Covid-19 is “now the main form” in the county.
The spread of contagious forms is being blamed for increasing the number of cases locally. Ferrer noted that in the past seven days, the county has averaged 878 new cases per day, up from 660 per day in the previous week – an increase of about 33%.
Recent data is even sharper, with 1,088 new cases reported today, a number that Ferrer calls “less test results” because more people are using antigen kits at home, the results of which have not been reported.
The rate of people tested positive has similarly increased gradually, from 0.8% on Tuesday to 1.0% today.
While the increase in cases is annoying, this increase fortunately did not translate into an increase in hospital patients.
The number of covid-positive patients at the county hospital remained below 300 – up to 273 as of Thursday, according to state figures, Ferrer said.
And the daily number of deaths responsible for the virus continues to decline, averaging 13 per day last week, up from 17 per day a week ago.
Although he has expressed some concerns about the recent increase in school outbreaks. The county reported a total of 14 reports last week, one of them returning to the example of “one of our biggest outbreaks since the beginning of the epidemic, I think, in a K-12 school.”
And beyond the size of that single outbreak, Ferrer said, “We’ve tripled the number of new ones. [school] Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated during this week.
The increase is related to the spread of the BA.2 subverter, and follows the recent lifting of the indoor mask-wearing mandate on the school campus.
But Ferrer noted that test positivity on school campuses is still very low – below the countywide rate.
“So when you see an increase in outbreaks, it means schools have more infections than in the past,” he said, noting that there will be more deadly variants and lower levels of protection. More infections.
“I know people hate these masks, but those masks really helped,” Ferrer said. “As we see more outbreaks in schools, we need to look at it and not dismiss it, not say, ‘No, I will never wear those masks again.’ We will go to the level of security when we need it. ”
City News Service contributed to this report.