TARZANA (CBSLA) — Coronavirus numbers continued to rise at an alarming rate in Los Angeles County Sunday, which marked the third straight day with more than 1,000 cases.
L.A. County reported 1,113 new coronavirus cases and four deaths Sunday. This followed increased numbers from Saturday, where 1,094 cases and 8 deaths were reported. On Friday, 1,107 cases were recorded.
Health officials say the highly contagious Delta variant is responsible for the fast spread of the disease.
Hospitalizations have also been rising steadily. As of Sunday, there are 373 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in L.A. County hospitals, up from 284 on July 5.
The transmission of COVID-19 is increasing among younger, unvaccinated people. Authorities say 83% of the new cases are among those under 50 years old.
"I'd rather people not go through what I went through, going through this COVID," said Greg Datastanyan, who was initially against the COVID-19 vaccines until he ended up in the ICU. "But if you can get the vaccine and get at least 50% less than what I went through, I could encourage you to get it."
Doctors believe older people haven't been getting sick because they were the first to get inoculated against the virus, but that there's still a lot of vaccine hesitancy.
"The vast majority of patients that are becoming hospitalized or becoming sick are not vaccinated," Dr. Thomas Yadegar, ICU medical director at Providence Cedars Sinai Medical Center, told CBSLA. "If you look at patients that are dying, those are patients that were not vaccinated. By vaccinating, you're protecting yourself against the severe form of COVID. Yes, you still contract the virus, but you won't nearly get as sick. You won't need to be hospitalized. You won't need to die unnecessarily."
As for Datastanyan, he's been transferred to the progressive care unit where he has a message for anyone who's on the fence about vaccination.
"Think about getting vaccinated. That can save them from going through what I went through," he said.
Officials at all levels continue to point out that vaccines have been effective.
More than 4.6 million people in LA County are fully vaccinated so far. Of those, only 0.06% have tested positive for the coronavirus.
for more features.