LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Blaming the highly infectious Delta variant of the virus and increases in people mingling in public, Los Angeles County health officials Wednesday reported more than 2,500 new COVID-19 infections, the largest daily number since mid-February.
The 2,551 infections reported Wednesday is also nearly 20 times the number of cases the county reported on June 21, when the number stood at 124 cases.
Wednesday marked the 13th consecutive day the case number has topped 1,000. It brought the county's cumulative number of cases from throughout the pandemic to 1,273,390.
The number of people hospitalized due to the virus continued rising as well, jumping from 585 on Tuesday to 645 on Wednesday, according to state figures. The number of people in intensive care rose to 140, up from 134 on Tuesday. One month ago, on June 21, the county reported just 213 people hospitalized due to COVID.
On June 15, California lifted most of its coronavirus-related restrictions and did away with its tier-based system, the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. But if the state's reopening blueprint were still in effect, a current surge in coronavirus cases would push L.A. County into the purple tier -- prompting many closures and restrictions, including no indoor dining.
L.A. County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda Solis said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approving at least one vaccine would remove one obstacle in getting more people vaccinated.
"We need the FDA to approve these vaccines because I think that's also one of the reasons why people are not getting the vaccine," Solis said. "They're waiting for that authorization."
As a response to rising cases, the county late Saturday night re-instituted a requirement that everyone wear masks in indoor public settings, regardless of vaccination status. Previously, only unvaccinated people were required to wear masks indoors. However, since compliance was based solely on the honor system, officials said many unvaccinated people were likely failing to comply with the rule.
Health officials say unvaccinated people and the highly contagious Delta variant are the major factors contributing to the recent spike in cases in L.A. County.
City News Service contributed to this report.