County health officials last week said the mu variant has been detected in 167 people between June 19 and Aug. 21, with most of them found in July. Meanwhile, officials have also confirmed the presence of a coronavirus variant recently determined to be a “variant of interest” in L.A. County. The mu variant was declared by the World Health Organization as a “variant of interest” on Aug. 30, and was first identified in January in Colombia, county health officials said. Also known as B.1.621, the Mu variant, has since been reported in 39 countries.
Monday’s COVID-19 hospitalization numbers also came as county health officials reported 11 new deaths associated with the virus and 1,540 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the county totals to 1,420,560 cases and 25,456 fatalities since the pandemic began. Among the nearly 5.3 million fully vaccinated people in the county, less than 1% have become infected with COVID-19 and only 0.02% of those who tested positive were hospitalized, L.A. County Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Friday.
County health officials, however, noted that Monday’s case and death numbers likely reflect reporting delays over the weekend. The number of people hospitalized dropped under 1,600 Friday for the first time in nearly a month. Health officials said the decline may reflect the likelihood that cases among fully vaccinated residents are not as likely as those among unvaccinated people to require hospitalization.
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