On Tuesday, City Councilman Mike Bonin delivered a heartfelt, teary address in City Council, two days after news broke of a leaked recording of council members making racist comments about his young Black son. The next day, it was learned that Bonin had contracted COVID-19. It is a reminder that the pandemic endures in Los Angeles.
Each week, Crosstown runs down the latest about the course of the coronavirus in the region. Here is what’s happening.
1) Calling for a boost
In early September, a bivalent vaccine became available in Los Angeles County, offering protection against the original coronavirus strain and the Omicron variants. Public health officials warn that senior citizens face a heightened risk of severe symptoms from COVID-19, yet few of them have gotten the shot.
The Department of Public Health recently reported that about 126,000 seniors have received the new vaccine. That accounts for just 10% of the more than 1.2 million Angelenos who are 65 and older.
Immunity from earlier vaccinations can wane over time. The Omicron variant still accounts for virtually every case in Los Angeles County, making this dose all the more crucial.
2) Cases decline
The number of COVID-19 cases in the county continues to drop. From Oct. 5–11, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 7,292 infections. That marks a 12.1% decline from the week prior.
The current seven-day average is 1,042 cases, nearing triple digits for the first time since mid-April. One month ago, the county was seeing an average of more than 3,500 new cases per day.
3) Fatalities also on a downward trend
Even as the overall impacts of the pandemic have lessened, dozens of Angelenos continue to pass away each week. However, the figure is falling.
From Oct. 5–11, there were 65 fatalities in the county. That is seven fewer deaths than the previous week.
For the first time since early July, the seven-day average of deaths has dropped below 10. Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 33,500 county residents have passed away from COVID-19.
4) More available hospital beds
Los Angeles County has hit another milestone: Hospitalizations have again snuck below 500, after rising the previous week.
Currently, there are 487 people with COVID-19 in area hospitals. Two months ago, that figure was 1,098.
5) The situation on the streets
Just as the impact of COVID-19 on the general population has declined, so too is the situation improving among the unhoused in the region. The Department of Public Health reports on these infections biweekly.
From Sept. 25–Oct. 1, there were 75 cases of COVID-19 among people experiencing homelessness. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 21,761 cases and 361 deaths in the unhoused community.
During this reporting week, 69% of the people experiencing homelessness who contracted COVID-19 were Latinx or African American. Over the week, there has been an average of eight new cases per day.
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.