Los Angeles County health officials reported 1,625 new COVID-19 infections, while the number of people hospitalized with the virus ticked up slightly in its latest data.

The new infections increased the county’s overall total from throughout the pandemic to 3,677,849. The daily case numbers released by the county’s Department of Public Health on Feb. 2 are undercounts of actual virus activity, due to people who use at-home tests and don’t report the results, and others who don’t test at all.County health officials also reported 13 new COVID-related deaths, raising the death toll to 35,294. According to state figures, there were 747 COVID-positive patients hospitalized in the county as of Feb. 1, up from 705 a day earlier. Of those patients, 80 were being treated in intensive care units, up from 72 on Jan. 31.

The seven-day average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus in the county was 5.9% as of Feb. 1, up slightly from a revised 5.5% the previous day.

With the county now in the “low” virus-activity level, as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wearing masks indoors is now a matter of personal preference. 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.

City News Service