The number of COVID-positive patients at Los Angeles County hospitals rose by 19 people to 258, according to the latest state data released Saturday.
The number of those patients treated in intensive care was 33, up from 36 on Friday.
Those numbers come a day after local health officials reported more than 3,200 new infections, while again warning of the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on Black and Latino residents.
The county reported 3,270 new infections on Friday, bringing its overall total during the pandemic to 2,888,408. Six more virus-related deaths were also reported, bringing the death toll to 31,991, according to the Los Angeles Department of Public Health.
The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 2.3% on Friday, about the same as Thursday.
The department does not report COVID data on weekends.
The health department warned Friday that during the pandemic, black and Latino residents have faced a greater impact in terms of infections and deaths than white and Asian residents. Low-income areas have also been hit harder.
The discrepancies point to long-standing differences in the level of care and access to care, officials said.
Health officials noted that during the four COVID surges the county has faced, black and brown residents have had case rates two to four times higher than white residents. Hospitalization rates were three to four times higher during the recent winter surge, and death rates were two to three times higher in that same period.
COVID vaccines did not fully rectify the discrepancies between wealthy and low-income areas. According to the county, fully vaccinated residents in high-poverty areas were still twice as likely to become infected and end up hospitalized as fully vaccinated residents in wealthier communities.
Meanwhile, unvaccinated residents in high-poverty areas are 12 times more likely to die from the virus than unvaccinated residents in wealthier areas.
County officials attributed the differences to factors such as the frequency of exposures, general community conditions and the general health of residents in the various areas.
Health officials have also said that most people who die from COVID complications have underlying conditions, primarily hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.
“As Los Angeles County continues through this different phase of the pandemic, Public Health’s goal has not changed and we will work with partners to reduce serious illness and deaths from COVID-19,” said Public Health Director , Barbara Ferrer, in a statement. “It is simply not appropriate to tolerate the disproportionality that results in higher rates of illness, death and long-term disability among some residents and workers when there are collective prevention strategies that can mitigate the spread and serious illness.”
Ferrer also urged people to exercise caution during Mother’s Day activities on Sunday.
“As the virus is spreading at a high rate, Public Health is asking everyone who gathers to celebrate and honor their mothers and grandmothers this weekend to stay safe by getting tested before gathering, staying fresh air as much as possible and wearing masks when indoors.” ”, she said in a statement on Saturday. “We wish you all a happy Mother’s Day.”