CALIFORNIA—The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s coronavirus numbers released on Sunday, August 23, indicate a decrease in the number of cases and hospitalization in the county. 

A total of 1,098 new cases and eight deaths were reported on Sunday. The numbers, almost 500 less cases than the 1,644 reported on August 22, are due to “reporting delays over the weekend,” the department said. 

“The positive trends that the county is seeing are encouraging and reflect less transmission of the virus at workplaces and in the community,” said Public Health director Barbara Ferrer, who extended her sympathies to the families impacted by the virus.

The number of hospitalizations reported on Sunday is  lower than that of Saturday. A total of 1,247 individuals are currently hospitalized, with 33 percent of them being treated in the ICU. 

The Department of Public Health continues to urge Los Angeles County residents to “physically distance from those not in their household, wash hands frequently, avoid gatherings and crowds, and wear a clean cloth face covering,” among other measures.

“We must continue taking all the actions that got us to this place,” Ferrer added. “These are the actions we each take for each other that help the county in its recovery efforts.”

As of Sunday, August 23, in Los Angeles County 231,695 people tested positive for COVID-19 and 5,545 people have died.

The department’s weekend numbers show that older individuals with underlying health conditions are more likely to develop complications from the virus. Among the eight deaths reported on Sunday, three people were over the age of 80, three between the ages of 50 and 64, and two between 30 and 49. One individual between 30 and 49 died without having an underlying health condition. 

The state of California has been monitoring every county in the state to determine their progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19. 

Counties are placed on a watchlist that determines whether businesses and schools can start reopening. Certain factors make that determination: testing capacity, transmission of the virus in the community, number of people hospitalized for COVID-19, and the capacity of hospitals to care for people with COVID-19 with adequate conditions. 

Los Angeles County meets all but one of the indicators — the number of cases per 100,000 residents is at 218, above the stipulated 100 threshold. 

Residents who tested positive for the virus and have not yet connected with a public health specialist or need more information on services can call 1-833-540-0473 for assistance.