While many people have stopped wearing masks, the coronavirus pandemic continues. Given that reality, Crosstown each week runs down 5 things to know about COVID-19 in Los Angeles. Here is the latest.
1) Cases fall again
For the ninth consecutive week, the number of new COVID-19 cases has declined. From Sept. 7–13, the County Department of Public Health reported 11,877 infections. That is a 20.8% drop from the previous week.
For the first time since late April, the seven-day average of new cases is comfortably below 2,000. The current seven-day average sits at 1,697.
2) More free hospital beds
At the beginning of the month, Los Angeles County moved back into the Low Community Level, a designation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that reflects minimal stress on local hospitals.
On Tuesday, there were 735 county residents hospitalized with COVID-19, the lowest level in three months. The most recent seven-day average of hospitalizations was 751, marking a 31.5% decrease from mid-August.
3) Slight uptick in deaths
The number of deaths due to COVID-19 continues to go up and down in a fairly narrow range—a reminder of the most serious consequences of the pandemic. From Sept. 7–13, there were 90 fatalities, three more than the previous week.
Since the start of the pandemic, 33,432 Angelenos have died of COVID-19.
4) Impacting the unhoused
COVID-19 continues to have a significant impact on people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County. In its most recent update, which covers the period of Aug. 28–Sept. 3, the Department of Public Health identified 152 new cases among the unhoused community. This brings the total during the pandemic to 21,370 cases. According to health authorities, 359 unhoused people in the county have died of COVID-19.
The Department of Public Health estimates that 59% of those who contracted COVID-19 were sheltered at the time of diagnosis. An estimated 23% were unsheltered or living in encampments (the status of the other 18% is unknown).
5) Not enough shots
Although anyone 6 months and up can get vaccinated, there remains a sizable number of holdouts. An estimated 81% of those eligible in L.A. County have received one or more doses.
During the week of Sept. 4, an estimated 1,812 Angelenos got a shot. One week prior, the total was 4,588. The recent period marks the lowest weekly vaccination total since January 2021, though the figure could have been driven down by the Labor Day weekend. Health officials hope the availability of a “bivalent” vaccine that protects against infectious Omicron strains will propel people to get jabbed.
Across the county, a total of 19,733,301 shots have been administered. This includes 6,785,381 second doses.
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.