After a relatively calm summer, COVID-19 cases are on the rise across Los Angeles County, with the Department of Public Health reporting a rise in transmission for the fifth straight week. 

According to the most recent data for L.A. County, hospitalization rates increased from around 250 per day in mid-July to 422 per day as of Aug. 18. 

An average of 512 cases were reported countywide per day, which marked a 35% increase from the week before. 

Despite the increase in hospitalizations, daily testing rates in L.A. County have remained relatively stable, with around 5,000 people reported taking a COVID test per day as of Aug. 15, according to health department data.

For comparison, nearly 9,000 tests were reported daily across the county as of May 17. 

Public health officials say that while precautionary measures should be taken by everyone, especially those with underlying health conditions, infection rates are not as bad as they were at this time last year, when nearly 1,300 patients were hospitalized each day in Los Angeles County. 

The rise in positive cases corresponds with a statewide increase in positive cases; according to official California state COVID-19 data, new hospital admissions and test positivity rates have both increased since the end of June throughout the Golden State. 

This past May, the statewide seven-day coronavirus positivity rate sat at just 3.4%. As of Aug. 13, that number had risen to 11.2%. 

Experts are linking the increases in positive cases to the return of summer travelers, the new school year starting and new COVID variants. 

Almost all the strains currently circulating in L.A. County are descendants of the Omicron XBB variant, health officials say. 

At a briefing on the uptick in cases on Thursday afternoon, L.A. County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer noted that cases have “doubled” over the last month.

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More in-depth statistics can be found at the health department’s COVID-19 Surveillance Dashboard.