COVID-19 deaths and cases continued to drop in Los Angeles County , the Department of Public Health reported Sunday, even as the region approached a grim new marker of 24,000 deaths from the pandemic.
The count, which could be low because of delays in weekend reporting, included five deaths, 248 new cases and 400 hospitalizations.
The daily positivity rate for those who seek testing continues to be low in Los Angeles County, at 0.5%. Not all individuals who carry the virus are tested.
“While transmission is low and we continue to see declines in cases, hospitalizations and deaths, we are approaching the terrible milestone of 24,000 COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County,” said L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer in a statement Saturday.
She added, “There continues to be higher risk of COVID-19 transmission and severe health outcomes among unvaccinated people. Please get vaccinated as soon as you can.”
Appointment-free vaccinations will become available throughout Los Angeles on Monday.
The move is intended to give people who don’t have the time or technological resources to navigate online booking platforms a chance to get the shot.
The county’s low positivity rate allowed it to move into the state’s yellow, or least restrictive, tier on Thursday for the first time during the pandemic.
That change allows for more visitors to patronize sporting events, theme parks, restaurants and other venues.
L.A. County is in the yellow tier of the state’s COVID recovery plan, allowing for the broadest reopening of the economy since the pandemic began.
It was only five months ago that the county was the nation’s COVID-19 epicenter.