LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The number of coronavirus patients in Los Angeles County hospitals continues to hold steady at 253, the same number as last weekend, according to the latest state data released Saturday.
The total has been trending downward for months and is down from over 1,300 in December.
Meanwhile, the statewide total of COVID-positive patients was 1,149, down by 27 people from the previous day.
Some of the hospitalized patients were admitted for other reasons and learned they had COVID after a mandated test.
The latest state numbers come two days after the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 2,266 new COVID-19 infections, down from 2,533 the previous week, and 46 virus-related deaths, down from 51 the previous week.
Federal emergency declarations stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic are now over, but the county health department noted that COVID-19 "continues to be one of the leading causes of death in Los Angeles County, requiring ongoing efforts to reduce severe illness through readily available vaccinations, testing and treatment."
Health officials said the federal government will continue to make its supply of the therapeutic medications Paxlovid and Molnupiravir available at no cost regardless of insurance coverage, while state law requires insurance plans to cover the costs of vaccines, testing and Paxlovid through Nov. 11.
"We are grateful that Los Angeles County is in a better place and that emergency declarations are no longer needed," county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement Thursday, when the department releases its weekly COVID numbers. "I am aware that each day thousands of people throughout Los Angeles County continue to be impacted by COVID-19, whether they need to miss work due to illness, require hospital care, or are experiencing the effects of long COVID.
"Public Health remains committed to work that reduces the chance of transmission and ensures the county remains prepared for the likelihood of periodic changes in transmission. We're continuing our work to make sure there are no barriers for anyone wishing to access life-saving vaccines, therapeutics and tests, especially for those who are under insured or uninsured."