LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Los Angeles County on Saturday reported 3,730 new cases of COVID-19 and 21 additional deaths associated with the virus -- the second consecutive day that saw more than 3,000 new cases after months of lower totals.
Saturday's numbers come one day after local health officials reported 3,360 new cases of COVID-19 and eight more confirmed cases of the Omicron variant amid stepped-up efforts to combat the pandemic, including new rules for attending large events.
In a small bit of good news, the number of Los Angeles County residents hospitalized with COVID-19 fell by seven to 742 Saturday, with 180 of those patients in intensive care, down two from Friday's totals, according to the latest state figures.
The county had 772 COVID patients on Thursday.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has logged 1,560,377 cases of COVID-19 and 27,432 fatalities since the pandemic began.
As of Friday, anyone attending indoor or outdoor mega-events in the county who cannot provide proof of full vaccination was required to provide proof of a negative COVID test within one day (if antigen test) or two days (if PCR test) of the event.
Children under age 2 are exempt from the rule for indoor events, and children under 5 are exempt for outdoor events. This is a change from the previous health order, which required proof of a negative test within 72 hours.
The county defines mega-events as indoor gatherings of more than 1,000 people or outdoor events of more than 10,000 people.
The new Omicron cases brought the county's confirmed total to 38. Of the eight cases reported Friday, five people were fully vaccinated and one received a booster. One person reported international travel and one person reported domestic travel, according to the health department.
Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Thursday there is no evidence to suggest the new variant causes more severe symptoms than previous versions, but it is more transmissible than other variants.