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Recent spikes in coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County and elsewhere in California underscore a pandemic divergence, in which the unvaccinated face growing danger, while the vaccinated are able to move back to regular activities without fear of getting sick.

Some who have not been inoculated may have hoped that the dramatic decline in COVID-19 cases this spring and summer — which officials attribute to a robust vaccination campaign — would be enough to protect them without getting a shot. But with the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant, infections are again on the rise — and communities with low vaccination rates are in the crosshairs.

Los Angeles County reported more than 3,000 new coronavirus cases cumulatively over the last three days. It was the first time since early March that the county has reported three consecutive days with more than 1,000 new cases.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are also up. On Friday, they reached 373 — the most since early May and 76% higher than the record low of 212 on June 12. On Saturday, L.A. County reported 372 COVID-19 hospitalizations.

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