Los Angeles County confirms only 3 COVID hospitalizations at LAC+USC Medical Center as city reinstates masks

The COVID pandemic is 'still ongoing and unpredictable,' the county said

Los Angeles County encouraged its residents to comply with health safety measures regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in a statement released on Monday, despite confirming only three hospitalizations for COVID at the LAC and University of Southern California Medical Center.

"At the current time, approximately 10 percent of patients admitted to LAC+USC Medical Center with a positive COVID test are admitted due to illness caused by COVID," the county said. "In contrast to our peak during the winter of 2020, when we had 285 COVID+ patients in the hospital, 120 of whom were in the ICU, we currently have approximately 30 COVID+ patients in the hospital, of whom 3 were admitted for COVID, none of whom are in the ICU."

Los Angeles County attributed the low figures at the 600-bed hospital to a high vaccination rate and underscored the importance of following health safety precautions.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 30:  Registered nurse (RN) Elle Lauron cares for a COVID-19 patient in the improvised COVID-19 unit at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills neighborhood on July 30, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 30:  Registered nurse (RN) Elle Lauron cares for a COVID-19 patient in the improvised COVID-19 unit at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills neighborhood on July 30, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

"The widespread vaccination coverage in Los Angeles County is critical to protecting against severe disease, hospitalization, and death," the city added.

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"The COVID-19 pandemic remains a very serious public health threat that we must continue to fight with every tool available, including vaccines, masking, social distancing, and treatment," LA County said in the statement.

Pasadena, CA - July 23:  People both masked and unmasked walks along Colorado blvd after a mandate to wear a mask indoors has gone into affect in Pasadena on Friday, July 23, 2021.

Pasadena, CA - July 23:  People both masked and unmasked walks along Colorado blvd after a mandate to wear a mask indoors has gone into affect in Pasadena on Friday, July 23, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)

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The release comes as the LA County Department of Health announced it will be reinstating its mask mandate. 

"Rising rates of infection are extremely concerning, as the more people who become infected, the greater the probability that ICU admissions for COVID-19 will rise in the future," the county continued.

The county is witnessing a recent spike in positive tests from residents, it said.

"As a safety precaution for our staff and our other patients, all admissions to the hospital are tested for COVID, irrespective of the reason for admission. In the course of this testing, we are seeing a steady number of patients return a positive result," the county added. "This is due to both high community transmission rates in Los Angeles County, as well as the fact that a person who has recovered from COVID019 can continue to test positive on a PCR test for months, even when they are no longer actively infected."

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 25: A sign displays the types of COVID-19 vaccination doses available at a Walgreens mobile bus clinic on June 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. 

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 25: A sign displays the types of COVID-19 vaccination doses available at a Walgreens mobile bus clinic on June 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The statement also addressed a controversial video circulating online that shared much of the same information from a virtual town hall on July 14, without additional context. The video is being politicized to suggest the pandemic is no longer serious.

The county concluded residents should use "vigilance and common-sense precautions" when traveling, working, or interacting with others as "the pandemic is still ongoing and unpredictable."