As COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Los Angeles County, health officials warned Thursday they may be forced to impose more restrictions on public activity, CBS Los Angeles reports.
The county reported another 2,533 confirmed cases on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases since the pandemic began to 330,514. An additional seven virus-related fatalities were also reported, raising the death toll to 7,221.
“Our case rate continues to be the reason why we remain in the most restrictive purple tier,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer.
The county’s recent testing-positivity rate is also rising, going from a seven-day daily average of 3.6% in early October to 4.4% last week, to 5.9% as of Thursday. Hospitalizations are also increasing, with 953 coronavirus patients as of Thursday, marking the second consecutive day over 900.
Ferrer noted that on October 3, the county was averaging 988 new cases per day, but as of last week, the average rose to 1,464.
“If collectively we fail to stop the acceleration of new cases, we will have no choice but to look at additional actions,” Ferrer said. “All around the country, elected officials and public health leaders are introducing new requirements to protect health care systems from becoming overwhelmed.”
Dr. John Swartzberg, an infectious disease expert at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, said the surge in cases in L.A. County and across California is the result of some people still not wearing masks and social distancing.
“We’re in for a very dark winter,” he said.