LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Another 58 COVID-19 deaths were reported in Los Angeles County on Tuesday, March 1, while the number of virus-positive patients in county hospitals inched slightly upward after weeks of steady decline.
According to state figures, there were 927 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals as of Tuesday, up from 916 on Monday. Of those patients, 174 were being treated in intensive care, down from 182 the previous day.
The county’s number of hospitalized COVID patients has been as high as 8,098 and as low as 213 during the two-year pandemic. It quickly shot up to over 4,800 in January amid a winter surge in cases fueled by the Omicron variant, and has been steadily declining since then. The number fell below 1,000 on Feb. 27 for the first time since December.
Officials have said many virus-positive patients enter hospitals for other reasons and only discover they have COVID after a mandated test.
The 58 new COVID-19 deaths reported Tuesday raised the overall death toll from the virus to 30,773. The county also reported a total of 1,093 new COVID cases, raising the cumulative pandemic total to 2,797,628.
The rolling average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 1.2% as of Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
The new numbers came on the day the state relaxed its indoor mask-wearing mandate for everyone — regardless of vaccination status — in most public settings. Los Angeles County’s rule still remains in place, but it is could be lifted on Friday.
LA Metro reminded riders over the weekend that they are still required to wear face masks while on buses or trains, under a federal mandate that applies to all transit systems. Under federal rules, masks continue to be required indoors at airports, transit centers, aboard public transit, in health care facilities and at homeless shelters, long-term care centers and emergency shelters.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that the state’s indoor mask-wearing mandate in schools will end at 11:59 p.m. March 11. Los Angeles County will align with the state and also lift the school masking rule.
But it was still unclear if the Los Angeles Unified School District will adhere to the same schedule. The head of the United Teachers Los Angeles union issued a statement opposing lifting of the mask mandate on school campuses.
LAUSD Superintendent Alberto Carvalho issued a statement saying only that the district will “continue to consult with our medical director and health partners as we work to establish an updated mask policy.”