LOS ANGELES, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Los Angeles crossed a grim milestone of losing more than 25,000 residents to COVID-19 with a daily count of 35 fatalities, local health authorities said Thursday.
The most populous county in the United States, home to over 10 million residents, also reported 3,239 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the overall tally since the start of the pandemic to 1,362,848 positive cases with 25,002 related deaths, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Health officials said in a daily release that there are 1,790 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized in the county in western U.S. state of California and 23 percent of them are in the intensive care units.
The county's 7-day cumulative case rate is now 204.2 new cases per 100,000 residents, which represents a 5 percent increase from last week. Between July 11 and Aug. 11, hospitalizations rose by 333 percent to an average of 1,622 beds filled with people testing positive for COVID-19 on any given day, and deaths rose 275 percent to an average of 15 deaths per day, said the department.
County health officials noted they are monitoring school cases in outbreaks among staff and students as many school districts countywide are reopening this week.
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced last week that the most populous U.S. state would implement first-in-the-nation measure to require all teachers and school staff to get vaccinated as schools return from summer break amid COVID-19 Delta variant spread.
"It is with much sorrow that we mark this devastating milestone of 25,000 deaths in our County. This virus continues to cause debilitating and dangerous illness among many who are infected," Barbara Ferrer, the county's director of public health, said in the release.
"Losses we suffer now are particularly sad because almost all of them are preventable with extremely safe and widely available vaccine," she added, urging people to act with a sense of urgency to reduce community transmission as quickly as possible.
Official data showed that around 63 percent of nearly 10.3 million Los Angeles County residents have received at least one dose, and 55 percent have been fully vaccinated. Enditem