LOS ANGELES—The number of COVID-19-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals fell again Oct. 9, declining from 696 on Friday to 670, according to state figures.
The number of those patients in intensive care dropped from 206 to 202.
It was the 35th time in the last 40 days that the number of COVID-19 patients in county hospitals has declined, down from a summer peak of nearly 1,800 brought on by the more contagious Delta variant.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 1,195 new cases of COVID-19 and 28 additional deaths Saturday, bringing the county’s cumulative totals to 1,469,790 cases and 26,308 deaths since the pandemic began.
Officials have said that about 90% of the fatalities associated with COVID-19 occurred in people with underlying health conditions.
Saturday’s test positivity rate was 0.93 percent.
Friday marked the first full day of new COVID-19 vaccination requirements for employees and customers at indoor portions of bars, wineries, distilleries, nightclubs, and lounges in Los Angeles County. Employees and patrons of such businesses must show proof of at least one dose of vaccine, while two doses will be required beginning Nov. 4.
Unvaccinated customers and employees can still be in outdoor portions of affected establishments.
Meanwhile, people aged 12 and over attending outdoor mega-events of 10,000 or more people are now required to show proof of either full vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours. The requirement affects ticketed sporting events, outdoor concerts, and theme parks that have 10,000 or more people in attendance.
Mask-wearing is also be required at all such events.
The vaccination-or-testing requirement was already in place for large indoor events of 1,000 people or more.
“We commend all the businesses and venues complying with the new vaccine verification requirements,” Ferrer said in a statement. “Because unvaccinated people are five times more likely to get infected with COVID-19 and 23 times more likely to be hospitalized, creating more safety at worksites, large events and indoor establishments is best accomplished when most people are vaccinated.”
Ferrer said vaccination increases among younger residents could be the result of mandates for school students, but the approaching winter holidays could also be prompting families to get their kids inoculated.
“I think a lot of parents are saying, ‘You know, getting ready for the holidays, I want you vaccinated,'” she said. “… We’ve all lived through a devastating winter last year, so I think there’s a lot greater push from family members for their teens to get vaccinated.”
Overall, 78 percent of eligible county residents aged 12 and up have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 70 percent are fully vaccinated. Of the county’s overall 10.3 million population, including 1.3 million kids under age 12 who are ineligible for the shots, 67% have at least one dose, and 60 percent are fully vaccinated.
But Ferrer said the pace of vaccines remains slow, with only about 45,000 first doses administered over the past week.