LA County COVID Cases Up 40% From Last Week; Health Officials Point To Variants
It's certainly not a surge, but coronavirus transmission is on the rise — again — in Los Angeles County.
Officials say the daily average of new, reported cases has increased by nearly 40% in just the past week alone, and nearly tripled compared to a month ago.
They're blaming the highly contagious BA.2 subvariant — plus the emergence of a new Omicron descendent that scientists are calling BA.2.12.1.
That subvariant now accounts for about 7% of confirmed cases in L.A. County.
Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer says that while the numbers are still a far lower than what we saw during this winter's Omicron wave, the increase in transmission is still a concern.
"Is there a second surge on the horizon? I hope not," she said. "We're seeing an increase in cases that's pretty significant. We started to see a small increase in hospitalizations."
Ferrer notes the number of COVID-positive patients in local hospitals is still relatively low. Cases are going up as restrictions have eased — and in the wake of spring break and holidays. She added she hopes the increase "stabilizes fairly soon without going much higher."