Just over 2,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported by Los Angeles County by mid week, while the overall virus-related death toll reached the grim 32,000 milestone.

The 2,044 new infections reported Tuesday lifted the county’s overall total from throughout the pandemic to 2,897,513. The county logged four more COVID-related fatalities to reach the 32,000 mark. The number of COVID-positive patients in county hospitals ticked up slightly to 252, up 10 from Monday. The number of those patients being treated in intensive care was 27 on Tuesday, the same as the previous day.

Health officials have noted that while COVID case numbers have risen sharply in recent weeks, hospitalization numbers have held relatively steady, and daily deaths have continued declining. On Monday, the county Department of Public Health pointed to the effectiveness of COVID vaccines for preventing severe illness from virus infection.

“The lower numbers of hospitalizations and deaths reflect, in large part, the protection provided by the vaccines against the variants,” according to the county Department of Public Health. “For the week ending April 22, unvaccinated people were four times more likely to be hospitalized compared to residents who were fully vaccinated, but not boosted, and five times more likely to be hospitalized than those fully vaccinated and boosted.”

According to the county, over the last week, the county has averaged four virus-related deaths per day, a 72-percent decrease from a month ago. The average daily number of virus-positive hospital patients averaged 245, roughly the same as it was a month ago. The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 2.4 percent as of Tuesday, a rate that has held mostly steady over the previous week.

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