LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles County reported another 1,098 cases of COVID-19 and eight additional deaths today, bringing the county's totals to 231,695 cases and 5,545 fatalities.
The relatively lower number of cases and deaths was attributed to reporting delays over the weekend.
Officials have hailed declining hospitalization numbers and testing-positivity rates in recent weeks as signs the county has been successfully slowing the spread of COVID-19. Those numbers continued to trend in the right direction Sunday, with hospitalizations falling from 1,280 Saturday to 1,247 and 33% percent of those in intensive care.
An average of roughly 2,200 hospital patients were seen in mid-July.
Testing results were available for 2,182,882 individuals as of Sunday, with 10% of all people testing positive.
Officials noted that despite the encouraging trends, the virus is farfrom under control.
"I want to extend my sincere sympathy to all our L.A. County residents that are grieving the loss of a family member, friend, co-worker or loved one. Your loss is not unnoticed, and we keep you in our hearts during these days of sadness,'' Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said.
"The positive trends that the county is seeing are encouraging and reflect less transmission of the virus at workplaces and in the community. We must continue taking all the actions that got us to this place. Residents are urged to physically distance from those not in their household, wash hands frequently, avoid gatherings and crowds, and wear a clean cloth face covering that securely covers both their nose and mouth when in contact with others not part of their household. These are the actions we each take for each other that help the county in its recovery efforts.''
Taking part in an ABC7 online question-and-answer session Friday, Ferrer noted that two weeks after the Fourth of July weekend, the county had "our worst-ever surge in cases and hospitalizations.''
"Of course, we're looking to what we can do differently around Labor Day,'' Ferrer said.
She didn't offer any specifics in terms of what steps might be taken to prevent a repeat of the post-July 4 and Memorial Day spikes, but Ferrer said she hopes people take heed of the public-gathering restrictions during the upcoming Labor Day weekend.
Ferrer noted recently that the county now meets five of the state's six criteria for controlling infections, falling short only in the per-capita rate of people testing positive for the virus.
Until the county meets all six of the criteria, it will remain on the state's coronavirus monitoring list, which prevents more businesses from reopening and requires school campuses to remain closed.
L.A. County was one of 35 counties on the watchlist as of Sunday.
Orange County was removed from the list this weekend.