Los Angeles County reports a 165 percent increase in coronavirus infections in a single week amid the increase in the highly contagious delta variant.
LA County Department of Public Health said in a statement that 839 new coronavirus infections were reported as of Thursday. The daily average rate is 3.5 per. 100,000 people, compared to last week’s 1.74 cases per 100,000 people.
The agency said the delta variant of coronavirus, first identified in India, has become the most commonly sequenced variant in the county since early June and now accounts for most variants identified by laboratories.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the variant now accounts for the majority of new cases in the United States, leading to spikes in infections in several states.
Experts say the best protection against the delta variant is vaccination.
The county said just under 4 million of its residents are still unvaccinated, while 4.6 million are fully vaccinated.
Barbara Ferrer, director of Los Angeles County Public Health, said in a statement that vaccines remain “the most important tool we have to keep COVID-19 transmission and incubation variants low.”
“The most powerful way to protect them in hard-hit communities, many of whom are important workers, is to close vaccination holes,” Ferrer said.
As of Thursday, Los Angeles County has identified 1,254,354 positive cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began and 24,525 deaths. There are currently 296 hospitalized, of whom 24 percent are in intensive care.