LA County reports more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases for 3rd straight day

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County reported 1,113 new cases of COVID-19 and four additional deaths Sunday - the third consecutive day that more than 1,000 new cases were reported.

Officials said the number of cases and deaths are likely to reflect reporting delays over the weekend.

The number of people hospitalized in Los Angeles County due to the virus dropped from 373 to 372, according to state figures. There were 82 people in intensive care as of Sunday, up from 79 the previous day.

The spike in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles is causing worries about the spread of the Delta variant.

Federal officials have said the variant is also believed to be responsible for a majority of new infections being reported in the United States - the vast majority of them among unvaccinated residents.

LA County health officials recommend wearing masks indoors amid spread of Delta variant
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Health officials in Los Angeles County now strongly recommend that people wear masks indoors in public places - regardless of their vaccination status - to prevent the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus.



"All we are seeing now is basically those who have been unvaccinated getting severely ill," said Dr. Anthony Cardillo, CEO of Mend Urgent Care. "Those who are vaccinated are essentially protected from getting severe disease and certainly having deadly disease."

The Los Angeles County Public Health Department says transmission rates are increasing among younger residents. On Saturday, about 70% of new cases were among people between the ages of 18 and 49.

"Then there are those who have chosen not to get vaccinated. Those patients also have to be very, very careful and do not let your guard down," Cardillo said.

In hopes of encouraging more people to get vaccinated, the county is continuing to offer incentives. From Friday to next Thursday, anyone who gets vaccinated at sites operated by the county, the city of Los Angeles or St. John's Well Child and Family Center will be entered for a chance to win one of seven concert ticket prizes. Those include box seats at the Hollywood Bowl and tickets to Staples Center to see performances by Celine Dion, Grupo Firma, Luke Bryan, Kane Brown and Dan+Shay.

Close to half of the nation's population is fully vaccinated, but the Delta variant is surging. Hospitalizations are rising in states with lower immunization rates.

Pfizer says it's seeing decreasing immunity rates from its vaccine. The drugmaker plans to meet with top U.S. health officials to discuss development of a third dose.

On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci didn't rule out the possibility but said it was too soon for the government to recommend another shot. He said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA did the right thing last week by pushing back against Pfizer's assertion with their statement that they did not view booster shots as necessary "at this time."

Fauci said clinical studies and laboratory data have yet to fully bear out the need for a booster to the current two-shot Pfizer and Moderna vaccines or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson regimen.

"Right now, given the data and the information we have, we do not need to give people a third shot," he said. "That doesn't mean we stop there. ... There are studies being done now ongoing as we speak about looking at the feasibility about if and when we should be boosting people."

He said it was quite possible in the coming months "as data evolves" that the government may urge a booster based on such factors as age and underlying medical conditions. "Certainly it is entirely conceivable, maybe likely at some time, we will need a boost,'' Fauci said.

City News Service and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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