It is easy to overlook COVID-19 these days. Tropical Storm Hilary and the magnitude 5.1 earthquake that shook Ojai on Sunday were far more notable threats. Almost no one talks about masks or vaccines anymore.
However, the coronavirus continues to have a presence in the region, and numbers are ticking up. As of Aug. 16, there were 330 people hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. That represents a 49% increase over the figure four weeks ago.
As has been the case since the earliest days of the pandemic, certain subsets of the population are more vulnerable than others.
“Even as hospitalizations from COVID-19 remain at near-record lows, older adults continue to be hospitalized at significantly higher rates than any other age group in Los Angeles County,” the Department of Public Health stated in its most recent weekly briefing.
The briefing adds that during the 30-day period ending Aug. 16, there were 59 COVID outbreak investigations at skilled nursing facilities in Los Angeles County. In the previous 30-day period, there were 34 investigations.
COVID-19 infections are nowhere near what they were during multiple surges in the past three years, and current official counts are unreliable because most people who experience mild or no symptoms never report a positive test result. However, the Department of Public Health tally still serves as a baseline from which to measure change.
The department’s count of infections has nearly doubled in a month. On Aug. 16, the seven-day average of daily new cases was 384. That is up from 202 on July 19.
Vaccines continue to be free, and there are scores of health centers, pharmacies and other locations across the region where someone can get jabbed.
According to the Department of Public Health’s vaccine dashboard, 21.85 million doses have been administered. More than 91% of these were the original dose. Just 1.92 million of the shots have been the most recently updated version.
How we did it: We analyzed coronavirus data through Aug. 16, 2023, related to new cases, deaths, hospitalizations and vaccinations provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.