5 things to know about COVID-19 this week

Some key metrics improve, but the pandemic continues

Blue illustration of a sneezing girl with mouse ears


The coronavirus landscape is always changing. That’s why each week, Crosstown breaks down five things to know about COVID-19 in Los Angeles County. For specific neighborhood information, check out the Crosstown coronavirus interactive map


1) New guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently revised its COVID-19 guidelines to further protect individuals from coronavirus infection. Anyone who receives a positive test is recommended to quarantine for a minimum of five days. On day six, an individual can return to “normal” life if they receive a negative test result, experience improvements in symptoms, and are fever-free for 24 hours. 


Still, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health encourages individuals to wear a well-fitted mask upon exiting isolation and when in public spaces until day 10. 


Getting tested remains vital to slowing the virus’ spread and protecting those around you, according to health officials. Individuals who test negative but experience symptoms are encouraged to remain home and retest one or two days later. 


COVID-19 tests are more accessible than ever. The Department of Public Health has distributed 18,816,372 at-home test kits to date. The county has a program for free at-home testing, and the United State Post Office also delivers free test kits


[Get COVID-19, crime and other stats about where you live with the Crosstown Neighborhood Newsletter]


2) Hospital admissions fall

The county last Thursday moved back to the Medium Community Level. The ranking, determined by the CDC, requires counties to have fewer than 10 hospital admissions per 100,000 residents. According to the County Department of Public Health, the hospital admission rate stood at 9.9 per 100,000 residents on Tuesday.


Line chart of COVID-19 hospitalizations through August 16


On Wednesday, there were 1,009 residents with COVID-19 in area hospitals, the lowest number since July 7. The most recent seven-day average of hospitalizations was 1,041, which marks a 10% decline from the previous week. 


3) Cases continue to dip

The past seven days marked the fourth consecutive week that cases in Los Angeles County have fallen. New infections are now about half what they were a month ago. 


Bar chart of weekly COVID infections through August 16


There were 4,829 new cases on Wednesday. The most recent seven-day average was 3,676. That marks a 5% decrease from the week before. 


4) Declining deaths

After weeks of relatively high numbers of COVID-19 deaths, fatalities are falling. 


The seven-day average for deaths stood at 12 on Sunday, the lowest level since July 19. The average bumped back up to 13 on Wednesday. 


There were 14 fewer deaths documented this week than one week prior.


Bar chart of COVID-19 fatalities in LA ththrough August 16


While every COVID-19 fatality remains troubling, it is worth noting that current numbers are a fraction of what they were during the Omicron surge of the winter. The 92 deaths last week is fewer than the 96 recorded on the single day of Feb. 3


5) School in session

The Los Angeles Unified School District opened campuses on Monday for the new academic year. However, it will be much more difficult to track infections. That’s because the district is no longer providing weekly on-campus testing of all students and staff. Last year that meant conducting about a half-million tests each week.


The district asked all students to take a home test the weekend before returning to campus (free kits were given out), but only to report the results if it came back positive. According to the district’s COVID-19 Report Card, from Aug. 10–16 there were 2,458 positive results.


According to the Department of Public Health, 62 public school districts and 203 private schools are providing testing programs. 


How we did it: We analyzed coronavirus data related to new cases, deaths, hospitalizations and vaccinations provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.


Interested in our data? Check out the Crosstown coronavirus interactive map or email askus@xtown.la.