LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The number of COVID-19-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals ticked upward slightly Thursday, again nearly the 700 mark, while 1,144 new infections were reported.
According to state figures, there were 699 COVID-positive patients hospitalized in the county, up from 689 on Wednesday. Of those patients, 85 were being treated in intensive care units, up from 73 a day earlier.
The 1,144 new cases lifted the county's cumulative total from throughout the pandemic to 3,693,237. The daily case numbers released by the county are undercounts of actual virus activity in the county, due to people who use at-home tests and don't report the results, and others who don't test at all.
The county Department of Public Health reported 20 new virus-related deaths on Thursday, raising the pandemic death toll to 35,528.
The seven-day average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus in the county was 6.5% as of Thursday. The rate has been mostly steady for more than a week.
Masks are still required indoors at health-care and congregate-care facilities in the county, and for anyone exposed to the virus in the past 10 days, and at businesses where they are required by the owner. Masks are strongly recommended for high-risk individuals, and for people riding public transit.
For all other indoor settings, wearing masks is a matter of residents' personal preference.