5 things to know about COVID-19 this week

The pandemic continues, and gets personal

Beige illustration of COVID masks


For the first time in months, the number of weekly COVID-19 infections in Los Angeles increased (more on that below). So no, the coronavirus is not done with us. Crosstown continues to provide a weekly update on how the region is faring. Here is the latest.


1) On the home front

Last week, I shared that I tested positive for COVID-19. It was my first time contracting the virus, and I stated that my case was mild, with just a few sneezes and sniffles. I patted myself on the back for being vaccinated and boosted, and figured I would recover quickly. 


COVID-19 had other plans for me.


I spent Halloween weekend as a virtual zombie with a low-grade fever, barely able to look at a screen without experiencing a pounding headache. Once the sneezes and sniffles were gone, my main symptom was sheer and utter fatigue. I basically only left my bed to eat my three meals a day, which sapped my energy. I’m regularly a night owl on a crazy college student schedule, but this past weekend I was asleep by 9 p.m.


Fortunately, I’m now testing negative and have overcome the rest of my symptoms. My recommendation stands: If you start feeling ill, get tested immediately.


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


2) Tis’ the season for a surge

By now, we know how this goes: COVID-19 cases rise during the winter months as people spend more time indoors and travel for the holidays. In 2020 and 2021, infections began ramping up in November before surging in December and January, then falling in February. Cases right now are near where they were last year at this time.


Line chart comparing COVID cases during surge periods


Last January brought a record in Los Angeles County, with 960,121 reported infections in the month. 


3) COVID-19 meets the flu

As temperatures drop, health experts are calling for residents to get not just a COVID booster, but also a flu shot. On Oct. 28, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said flu cases are already “more than double what has been reported in October for the past five years.” The healthcare system is seeing the impact, with a large number of children under 5 visiting emergency rooms. 


Part of this stems from the spread of respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, which is particularly dangerous for both the very young and elderly. You know the drill by this point: Take as many preventative measures as possible. 


4) Cases take a turn

Last week, Crosstown reported that after months of declines, cases were hitting a plateau. Now, things have ticked upwards, but just slightly. From Oct. 26–Nov. 1, the Department of Public Health reported 6,743 new infections, a 2.6% increase from one week prior. The last weekly increase was in July.


Bar chart of weekly COVID-19 infections in Los Angeles


Since Oct. 12, the seven-day average of COVID-19 cases has been below 1,000. Currently the average is 963. 


In July, Los Angeles County was averaging 6,000 new cases per day.


5) Hospitalization stagnation

At the worst point of the pandemic, more than 8,000 people were in area hospitals, which put an incredible strain on the regional healthcare system. This past Saturday, the Department of Public Health reported 365 COVID-19 hospitalizations, the lowest figure since mid-May.


Line chart of COVID-19 hospitalizations


Currently, 388 Angelenos are in area hospitals with COVID-19. Yes, it’s a rise, but everything is relative.


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.