COVID picture continues to improve

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths in Los Angeles all decline

Illustration of needles with a blue background


A milestone arrived last week: On May 11, the federal government’s COVID-19 public health emergency expired. 


In some sectors this was a huge development. For many people, however, it was a mere headline. After all, unless you, a family member or a close friend catches a bad case, it is easy to operate as if the pandemic is over. Even most of those who get sick bounce back in a few days. Hardly anyone wears a mask.


That said, the coronavirus has not been erased from the landscape, and some people suffer severe consequences. The Department of Public Health last week stated, “COVID-19 continues to be one of the leading causes of death in Los Angeles County.”


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Official case counts are incomplete, because most people do not report positive tests to health authorities. Still, the Department of Public Health’s weekly tabulation provides a helpful and contextual sense of how the community is faring. And numbers continue to fall: In the week ending May 10, there were 2,266 documented infections in the county. That marks an 11.2% decline from the previous week. A month ago the count was north of 3,000.


Line chart of weekly COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County


Hospitalizations are also falling. In the most recent week, 252 people in area medical institutions tested positive. That was a slight decline from the previous week, and marked the seventh consecutive week that the figure has gone down.


Line chart of weekly COVID-19 hospitalizations in Los Angeles County


At the worst point of the pandemic, during the first winter and before vaccines were widely available, the county was experiencing more than 200 deaths a day. Now it can take a month to reach that level.


In the week ending May 10, there were 46 COVID-19 fatalities in the county. Since late March, the weekly total has stayed below 60.


Bar chart of weekly COVID-19 deaths in Los Angeles County


Although the government-declared health emergency is over, free tests and vaccines remain available throughout the county. More than 21.6 million shots have gone into arms in the region.


An estimated 18.6% of people 5 and up have received the most recent booster.


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.


Learn more about our data here. Any questions? Email