Los Angeles County reported more than 5,000 new COVID-19 infections by midweek as rising case numbers continued to point to a winter viral surge, with hospitalization numbers also climbing upward again.

The 5,051 new cases reported by the county Department of Public Health gave the county an overall total from throughout the pandemic of 3,570,525. Health officials have noted that the officially reported case numbers are an undercount of actual virus activity in the county, since many residents take at-home tests without reporting the results, and many others don’t bother getting tested at all.

The county also reported 12 more COVID-related deaths on Wednesday, lifting the cumulative death toll to 34,263.

According to state figures, there were 1,293 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals as of Wednesday, up from 1,270 on Tuesday and up more than 100 from a week ago. Of those patients, 142 were being treated in intensive care units, down from 151 a day earlier.

The seven-day average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 13.6% as of Wednesday.

County health officials are keeping a close watch on COVID-related hospitalization numbers, warning that continued increases could lead to another indoor mask-wearing mandate in public spaces.

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