County-wide COVID-19 hospitalizations had continued to decline by mid-week, while health officials again reported generally high compliance with safety restrictions at businesses, despite some lapses in enforcement of mask-wearing requirements.
According to state figures, there were 1,034 COVID-positive patients hospitalized in the county as of Monday, a drop from 1,053 from the previous day.
By Tuesday morning, the county also reported six more COVID-19 deaths on Monday, raising the overall death toll from the virus to 25,838.
Another 996 new cases were also reported during that time frame, giving the county a cumulative total from throughout the pandemic of 1,445,121.
County health officials have said repeatedly that businesses have been in good compliance with virus-control orders. Early this week, the Department of Public Health reported that inspectors visited roughly 1,500 businesses during the week of Sept. 4-10, and found that “the majority of businesses were in compliance.’’ The agency again noted, however, that “there continues to be room for improvement with employee and customer masking at fitness centers, garment manufacturing plants and retail stores.’’
“I thank our L.A. County businesses that continue to do their part and follow the safety guidelines that prevent COVID-19 spread as we are still experiencing a lot of COVID-19 transmission in L.A. County,’’ Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement. “We applaud the many businesses and establishments that have implemented vaccination verification requirements in order to protect employees and customers. These are challenging times and the future trajectory of the pandemic is not certain. Nonetheless, we do know that the vaccines save lives and reduce transmission; these are essential prerequisites to moving forward with our recovery.’’
In hopes of boosting vaccination rates, the county will begin enforcing vaccine requirements next month at large event venues and in high-risk settings such as indoor bars, breweries, nightclubs, wineries and distilleries.
A new county Health Officer Order issued on Sept. 17 will require proof of vaccination for all customers and employees at indoor bars, breweries, nightclubs, wineries and distilleries. All patrons and employees will need at least one dose of vaccine by Oct. 7, and a second dose by Nov. 4. The order will recommend, but not require, vaccinations for people at indoor restaurants.