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The number of COVID-19-positive patients in Los Angeles County hospitals continued its downward trajectory this week, thereby lessening the virus’ impact on the local health care system.

According to state figures, there were 916 COVID-positive patients hospitalized locally, down from 975 on Feb. 27. Of those patients, 182 are in intensive care, down from 188 the previous day.

The county’s number of hospitalized COVID patients has been as high as 8,098 and as low as 213 during the two-year pandemic. It quickly shot up to over 4,800 in January amid a winter surge in cases fueled by the Omicron variant, and has been steadily declining since then. The number fell below 1,000 on Sunday for the first time since December.

Officials have said some patients enter the hospital for other reasons and discover they have COVID after a mandated test.

The county reported another 67 COVID-19 deaths on Monday, raising the overall death toll from the virus to 30,716. The county also reported a total of 2,833 new COVID cases from the past two days, raising the cumulative pandemic total to 2,796,560. The rolling average daily rate of people testing for the virus was 1.1 percent as of Monday, down from 1.4 percent on Feb. 26,  according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that the state’s indoor mask- wearing mandate in schools will end at 11:59 p.m. March 11. Los Angeles County will align with the state and also lift the school masking rule.

The state on Tuesday lifted its overall indoor mask-wearing mandate for unvaccinated people in most settings. Los Angeles County, however, still has a mandate in place. The county on Friday relaxed its mandate, allowing people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 to remove face coverings indoors at establishments that verify patrons’ vaccination status.

Late last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced amended COVID guidelines that dropped its recommendation for indoor mask-wearing in much of the country–but so far not in L.A. County.

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