When it comes to battling the coronavirus and encouraging vaccinations and booster shots, one word now stands above all others: Omicron. The new variant, initially identified in southern Africa, roared into public consciousness in the days after Thanksgiving, and on Wednesday the first case of the variant was detected in California. Concern is heightened, even if scientists have yet to determine if Omicron is more transmissible or dangerous than previous strains.
What is clear is that COVID-19 is not done with us. With the Vaccine Tracker, Crosstown is staying up to date on the latest and most important data on infections and inoculations.
As the need for protection increases, and more mandates to be inoculated or lose a job take effect, the number of vaccines administered has climbed. From Nov. 12-25, a total of 659,253 doses were given to county residents ages 12 and older; that is an 8% increase from the previous two-week period. About 83,028 of the Nov. 12-25 vaccinations were second shots.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has tweaked its vaccination reporting mechanism, and is now breaking down inoculation numbers for younger age groups. Children 5-11 became eligible for shots on Nov. 3, and by Nov. 28, an estimated 126,051 people in that age range in the county had been vaccinated. That works out to about 14% of the approximately 900,000 eligible children.
About 78% of Los Angeles residents ages 12-17 have received at least one dose, and 68% are considered fully vaccinated. Vaccinations for that age group began in May.
As of Nov. 28, the most recent day for which data is available, the county had administered a total of 14,606,071 doses. That includes 5,942,145 second doses.
Percentage of Los Angeles County residents vaccinated against the coronavirus
More than 1.35 million county residents had received a booster dose as of Nov. 28. That could rise in the coming weeks as concerns about the new variant ripple across the region.
More women than men continue to get their shot in the arm. According to Department of Public Health data, 78.4% of the approximately 4.9 million females ages 5 and older in the county have received at least one dose. That compares with the 73.8% of the 4.8 million males who have taken the jab.
On the case
On Saturday, the seven-day COVID-19 case average dipped below 1,000 for the first time since the end of October. Since then, the average has remained in the three digits, indicating that so far, Los Angeles has avoided the devastating spike in cases that occurred last year at this time. On Wednesday, the seven-day average of cases stood at 912, marking a 21.9% decrease from the week prior.
Daily and average coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County, Oct. 1-Nov. 30
The seven-day average of deaths dropped to 16 on Wednesday, a 27.3% decline from one week prior. Average deaths have remained below 20 for nearly a week.
Hospitalizations have followed a similar pattern, remaining below 600 for more than a week. On Wednesday, the county reported that 562 people were hospitalized with COVID-19. One year prior, on Dec. 1, 2020, a then-record 2,316 people were being treated in area hospitals.
The daily test positivity rate jumped to 2.9% on Tuesday after a consistent rise over the previous days. On Wednesday, the positivity rate fell back down to 1.7%. It is likely that the rate rose during the holidays due to reduced testing levels.
Los Angeles Unified School District campuses experienced a similar trend in testing and positivity, though overall numbers remain strikingly low. From Nov. 24-30, there were 327 positive results out of more than 174,000 tests. That works out to a 0.19% positivity rate.
How we did it: We analyzed coronavirus data related to new cases, deaths, hospitalization and vaccinations data provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, as well as data from the Los Angeles Unified School District.