Los Angeles County health officials on Monday, May 2, urged employers to use “common sense strategies” to combat COVID-19 in light of the increasing spread of the virus.
The push came as the province reported 5,920 new infections in the past three days, along with 13 new virus-related fatalities.
The province no longer reports the number of cases and deaths over the weekend. On Monday, the province reported 1,368 new infections, along with 2,728 from Saturday and 1,824 from Sunday. The new cases gave the province a cumulative total of 2,877,960 during the pandemic.
The 13 new fatalities brought the province’s total death toll to 31,970.
Health officials have reported increased daily numbers of cases in recent weeks, largely due to the BA.2 subvariant of the virus. An offshoot of that variant — known as BA.2.12.1 — has also started to spread locally, and health officials said it’s 20% to 30% more contagious than BA.2.
In light of the growing spread of the virus, county health officials on Monday urged employers to take steps to protect employees and customers from infection, such as providing well-fitting masks, improving ventilation, screening of workers who may be experiencing symptoms and adherence to isolation. /quarantine guidelines and case reporting clusters.
“While relieved that the latest increase in cases has not yet been matched by corresponding increases in hospitalizations, the higher infection rate we are experiencing is causing significant disruption and leading to a vicious cycle of increased transmission is worrisome,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of public health in the report. a statement. “With a high transmission rate comes the risk of breeding new variants of concern, the potential for more people to get long-term COVID and an increased risk in those who are more vulnerable to serious diseases if they become infected. Reducing workplace outbreaks can help slow transmission in communities and we thank employers for continuing to implement safety measures to keep employees and customers as safe as possible.”
Virus-related hospitalizations have remained relatively low despite the growing number of cases — something Ferrer has attributed to vaccinations and previous infections that boosted immunity and prevented infections from leading to serious illness.
On Monday, there were 225 COVID-positive patients in provincial hospitals, according to state figures, up from 226 on Sunday. The number of those patients treated in intensive care was 24, down from 28 a day earlier.
The average daily number of people who tested positive for the virus was 1.6% on Monday, about the same as the previous week.
Ferrer said last week that the BA.2.12.1 variant was detected in 7% of LA County infections tested to identify variants in the week ending April 9 — up from 3% the week before. She said state officials have estimated that BA.2.12.1 could account for half of all infections in California within days.
Researchers have not yet determined whether the variant causes more serious disease or evades existing vaccines better.