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Wednesday, June 22, 2022

LOS ANGELES—Los Angeles County confirmed more than 12,000 new COVID-19 infections in its latest data, dating back to Saturday, along with 11 more deaths.

The Department of Public Health announced 4,344 cases from Saturday, 4,217 from Sunday and 3,566 from Monday. The numbers are likely low due to delays in reporting from the weekend.

The county no longer releases COVID numbers on weekends.

According to the agency, six virus-related deaths were reported Saturday, three on Sunday and two on Monday.

The numbers released Monday gave the county a cumulative total of 3,069,037 COVID cases throughout the pandemic, and an overall virus-related death toll of 32,261.

Updated COVID hospitalization numbers were not immediately available, due to a delay in reports from the state. The most recent figure from Saturday indicated there were 639 COVID-positive patients in county hospitals, with 67 of them being treated in intensive care.

The average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus was 9.8% as of Monday. The percentage has slowly risen over the past week, with the overall number of tests being administered down dramatically due to schools being out of session. The elimination of those surveillance tests means most people getting tested are either showing symptoms of the virus or were recently exposed, meaning a higher percentage of them will ultimately test positive.

Health officials also noted that the overall number of people testing positive is likely much higher that the daily reports, since many people are relying on at-home tests, the results of which are often not relayed to the county.

Meanwhile, pediatric doses of COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 6 months are expected to be available at locations around the county as early as Tuesday. Federal authorities approved the doses for kids under age 5 over the weekend.

The approval applies to vaccines manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer- BioNTech.

County health officials noted that young children are considered at lower risk of becoming severely ill or dying from COVID, but they said the risk is higher among unvaccinated children. They also contend that unvaccinated children are at higher risk of developing Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children, or MIS-C.

According to the county, over the past three months, unvaccinated children aged 12-17 were nearly four times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID than vaccinated children. Among vaccine-eligible children in the county who contracted confirmed cases of MIS-C, 65% were unvaccinated, officials said.