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Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials warned of the increasing danger of the “highly transmissible” COVID-19 Delta variant Tuesday during the Board of Supervisors meeting.

“The Delta variant is a game-changer,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said. “And, we don’t have time to waste to try to get back to less transmission.”

Of the 13,598 COVID-19 cases reported countywide July 1-16, unvaccinated residents represented 74%, while fully vaccinated residents represented 26%, per Public Health.

Additionally, Ferrer reported that case rates have risen at a “much steeper rate” among unvaccinated people in the last two weeks.

Since the state fully reopened on June 15, the county’s daily test positivity rate has reportedly increased from 1.2% to 5.7% as of Tuesday, according to Ferrer.

While hospitalizations are a lagging indicator following a surge in cases, Public Health hopes the number of vaccinated residents will quell that increase, Ferrer said.

“There’s not even 1/10 of a hospitalization per 100,000 people for vaccinated people,” Ferrer added. “This does contribute to our certainty that the vaccines are working as intended here in L.A. County. And although vaccinated people are seeing a rise in new COVID diagnosis, they are primarily experiencing their infections not as severe illnesses to bring them to the emergency room, but as bad colds.”

Of all COVID-19-related deaths countywide, 99.9% were among unvaccinated people, according to Ferrer, who added that only 0.0006% of fully vaccinated residents have died.

Ferrer reiterated Public Health’s advice that the best way to protect against contracting COVID-19 is by being vaccinated.

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials also released the following updated COVID-19 statistics Tuesday:

Countywide COVID-19 cases reported in the past 24 hours: 2,067

Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 1,287,831

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the past 24 hours: 15

Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 24,643

Hospitalizations countywide: 825

Hospitalizations at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital as of July 26: 22, with 1,282 discharged since the onset of the pandemic.

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 62, 48 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita

Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 29,497

Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV as of July 27: 308

Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the city of Santa Clarita as of July 18: 70.8%

Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the SCV as of July 18: 67.2%