Los Angeles Crosses Grim Milestone of 30,000 COVID-19 Deaths

Los Angeles Crosses Grim Milestone of 30,000 COVID-19 Deaths

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Los Angeles, the most populous county in the United States, crossed a grim milestone of losing more than 30,000 residents to COVID-19, local health authorities said Wednesday.

The county, home to over 10 million residents, recorded 102 more related deaths and 3,348 new cases in the past day, bringing the overall tally to 30,081 and 2,769,372, respectively.

"While case and hospitalization numbers have declined significantly, sadly, many residents continue to lose their lives to this dangerous virus. Our hope is that as we drive case and hospitalization numbers lower, deaths will decline," said the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health in a daily release, Xinhua news agency reported.

A total of 1,835 people with COVID-19 are currently hospitalized in the county. With hospitalizations under 2,500 for seven consecutive days, the county relaxed its mask mandate on Wednesday, recommending but no longer requiring masking at outdoor mega events and exterior areas of K-12 schools and childcare centers.

But public health officials noted that face coverings at indoor public spaces, including K-12 schools, childcare facilities, healthcare settings and public transportation are still required in the county.

Vaccination verification will also continue at mega events and indoor sections of bars, lounges, nightclubs, wineries, breweries and distilleries, according to the county's public health department.

"While entering post-surge is welcoming news, we are all aware that post-surge does not mean the pandemic is over, or that transmission is low, or that there will not be additional unpredictable waves of surges in the future that will require integrated public health measures," Barbara Ferrer, the county's director of public health, said in the release.

"We anticipate, that with continued steep declines in case numbers indicating much lower transmission, we will be able to safely lift indoor mask mandates in mid-March," she added.

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