LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles County is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, and with Labor Day weekend upon us, health officials are urging residents to follow common-sense safety precautions.

L.A. County's Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer held a media briefing Thursday afternoon, her first in several months, and offered a lot of nuances and some good news. But as far as policies go - there's no news.

"I want to note, there's nothing that's changed,'' she said at the beginning of her remarks. "We're not announcing new safety measures today or new opportunities for people to take certain actions. We're just going to sort of run through where we are with the data.''

Ferrer showed how overall case numbers have doubled in the past month, but the numbers overall are lower than various parts of the pandemic. A more reliable data point for the severity of the virus? Hospitalizations, which have also increased, but like overall case counts, also remain low.

"Folks that get hospitalized usually aren't primarily hospitalized for COVID, but incidentally test positive," explained Dr. Nicholas Orozco, an ER Physician at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center.

He said he isn't seeing the kind of respiratory failures many hospitals saw in patients early on in the pandemic but rather flu-like symptoms that include coughing, body aches and nasal congestion. Hospitals have increasingly started recommending masks, both for patients and staff.

Vaccine recommendations may get an update too. The CDC's advisory committee is expected to meet mid-September to discuss the new boosters, which will likely be available in the next month.

Until then, officials urge people to simply be careful and stay safe.

"Stay home if you're sick, get tested for COVID-19 if needed, seek treatment if you have COVID-19 and are at high risk of getting sick," said Ferrer.

If you're not sick, Orozco says if you can take care of symptoms at home, do so.

"They don't want to get sick like we saw at the beginning of the pandemic, and so it does drive folks to the hospital to get checked out, so there's the worry this may progress or get worse, but right now, we're not seeing that," he said.

Orozco also said when ERs see a lot of patients who really only have flu-like symptoms, it impacts their ability to treat other patients because their system gets inundated. So if you're experiencing shortness of breath or severe nausea for example, maybe a trip to the ER is necessary.

Otherwise, he suggests trying to manage your symptoms at home.

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