A surge in COVID-19
cases involving the delta variant
of the coronavirus
has put Los Angeles County
health officials on high alert, and they are once again urging residents to wear masks
in public places.
The county's health department reported a 165% increase in new cases compared to last week, with the daily average case rate now standing at 3.5 cases per 100,000 people
, up from 1.74 cases per 100,000 last week.
The daily test positivity rate in LA County is 2.5%, up from 1.2% last week, and a significant increase from the 0.3% positivity rate recorded in the county at the end of May, just before California
“The new wrinkle in this is really this new variant,” Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, professor of epidemiology at the University
of California, San Francisco
, told The Associated Press
last week. “It just sort of rips very quickly through people who are susceptible to being infected, which is overwhelmingly people who have not been vaccinated.”
According to the county, approximately 4 million residents in LA County have not yet been vaccinated, posing a significant risk. Data for fully vaccinated people suggests that the Pfizer
, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines
are all effective against the strain in varying capacities.
“The data makes it increasingly clear that vaccines remain the most important tool we have to keep COVID-19 transmission and variant incubation low,” said Barbara Ferrer, LA County Director of Public Health
Ferrer went on to say that
Overall COVID-19 trends are negative for everyone, and this is especially concerning given the spread of the Delta variant. The most effective way to protect those in hard-hit communities, many of whom are essential workers, is to close vaccination
The World Health Organization
declared the delta variant to be "the most transmissible of the variants identified thus far" last month.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
, the strain became the dominant version of the coronavirus in the United States
in early July, with infections spreading quickly in areas of the country where vaccination rates are low.
The delta variant is responsible for 73.3% of all infections in Missouri
, 39.7% in Nevada
, 36.3% in Colorado
, and 29.6% in California, according to CDC
genomic surveillance data from June 6 to June 19, the most recent range available.