Los Angeles County health officials reported 2,551 new COVID-19 infections Wednesday, the largest daily number since mid-February.
The increasing total marks the 13th consecutive day that new daily COVID cases throughout the county have topped 1,000. The cumulative number of cases throughout the pandemic has increased to 1,273,390.
County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer noted the “surge” in new cases was a combination of the Delta variant and the increase of intermingling of unmasked people who may or may not be vaccinated.
“We are seeing a surge in cases in LA County that looks somewhat similar to last summer," Ferrer said in a statement.
"An important difference this summer is that with millions of people vaccinated, we are hopeful we will avoid similar increases in deaths that were experienced last year.”
The number of people hospitalized due to COVID increased to 645 on Wednesday, up 60 from the previous day. The number of people in intensive care increased to 140, up from 134 on Tuesday.
On June 21, the county reported 213 people hospitalized due to COVID.
The Department of Public Health reported that 83% of the infections in the 2,551 new cases reported Wednesday were among people under the age of 50.
Ferrer maintained that the mask mandate, re-instituted on July 18, will also slow the spread of COVID. The mandate requires residents to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
"Sensible masking indoors adds a layer of protection to the powerful vaccines,” Ferrer said. “It is important that we work together to drive down transmission so that there will be much less community transmission when schools reopen."
City News Service contributed to this report