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LA County Continues To See Climb In COVID-19 Hospitalizations

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Los Angeles County continued to trend upward Tuesday, as officials reported 891 people were being treated for the virus.

Tuesday's numbers, up from 825 the previous day, marked the highest number since March 13, and more than double the number from July 12, when the county reported 372 people hospitalized.

Of those hospitalized, 195 people were being treated in intensive care units, up from 182 reported on Monday.

Meanwhile Tuesday, the county reported another 2,067 COVID cases raising the cumulative county total to 1,287,831 since the pandemic began.

Officials also reported an additional 15 deaths due to COVID, bringing the county's death toll to 24,643.

Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Tuesday that the county has been averaging daily new cases between 2,000 and 2,500 over the past week.

"We are accustomed to seeing hospitalizations rise as a lagging indicator compared with cases, usually increasing two to three weeks after we begin to see our case numbers increase," she said. "... Because of this lag, it probably is too early to say with certainty whether the uptick we're seeing in hospitalizations is the beginning of a small wave of hospitalizations or whether it's the start of a more devastating surge."

She said that given the numbers of people who are vaccinated in the county, she remains hopeful the county won't see a repeat of the winter surge in cases, which led to more than 8,000 people being hospitalized.

Among people dying from the virus, 99.8% of the COVID fatalities in the county during the first six months of the year occurred among the unvaccinated, Ferrer said. The rate was 96% from April 1 to June 30, a period during which vaccines were more widely available.

Most recent figures from the county show that about 71% of residents aged 16 and older have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine, and 62% are fully vaccinated.

Also Tuesday, the California State University System announced that all students and staff will be required to be fully vaccinated to return to its 23 campuses. The University of California announced a similar move earlier this month.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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