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LA County urges caution over Fourth of July amid elevated COVID transmission The Rundown (July 1 PM Edition) The Rundown (July 1 PM Edition) 02:40

Los Angeles County health officials Friday urged residents to use caution over the Fourth of July weekend as amid rising cases and hospitalizations.

"Given the rising number of COVID cases and hospitalizations, and the increased circulation of the more infectious BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, it is extra important to take steps that reduce the risk of transmission especially over the long holiday weekend," Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. "This helps us protect ourselves, our families, and our community.

Ferrer said people should stay home and skip the celebration if they feel sick or have tested positive. She also advised people to get tested before gathering for parties or other large events.

On Thursday, Ferrer reported a sudden uptick in the pace of COVID- positive people being hospitalized in the county, with the average daily rate reaching 8.1 per 100,000 residents, up from 6.6 earlier this week.

If the county reaches 10 new daily admissions per 100,000 residents, it will move into the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's "high" virus activity category. 

After two weeks in the "high" category, the county it will reimpose a mandatory indoor mask-wearing mandate.

At the current rate of increase, the county will hit the "high" category by July 19, Ferrer said. 

Meanwhile Friday, the county reported 7,324 new cases and 10 additional deaths.

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