LA County reports highest daily number of new COVID-19 cases since mid-May

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County on Thursday reported its highest daily number of new COVID-19 infections since mid-May, and it is also seeing slight but noticeable increases in hospitalizations and testing-positivity rates, but the public health director said she is not immediately concerned about a virus surge.

"Obviously the numbers are really, really low still. Really low," Dr. Barbara Ferrer said. "Case rates are low, test positivity is low. You all remember how high those numbers have been for us. So I'm not concerned at all about surge. What I want to do is I want to make sure that we address any disproportionality early on by identifying those places where we're seeing pockets of increase.''

The county reported 314 new cases and 10 additional deaths. Latest figures show there are currently 234 people hospitalized.

Ferrer said the case number is the highest recorded in a day since May 15.

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The new numbers are raising concerns about the spread of the Delta variant just ahead of the Fourth of July. There are more than 100 cases of the Delta variant of the virus in L.A. County.

"We're especially concerned about this variant because it appears to be highly transmissible," Ferrer said. "That is, it is more contagious than even the other highly contagious COVID variants."

"This is a signal and a reminder to all of us that the virus is still with us, and that even now we need to be careful to mask and maintain distance from people outside of our households, especially if we're not yet vaccinated," Ferrer added.

With the Fourth of July approaching, Ferrer is reminding people to be safe and make sure gatherings are with people fully vaccinated.

The county will continue offering incentives for people to get vaccinated. Beginning Friday and continuing through next Thursday, peopled aged 18 and older who get vaccinated at sites operated by the county, city of Los Angeles or St. John's Well Child and Family Center will be entered for a chance to win one of two ticket packages to Magic Mountain, the Los Angeles Zoo, the Natural History Museum, La Brea Tar Pits and California Science Center.

The contest is open to anyone who comes to one of the participating sites for a first dose of vaccine, or anyone who is obtaining a second dose and brings a first-dose patient with them.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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