COVID picture in Los Angeles continues to improve

Key metrics decline again, and new vaccine becomes more widely available

Illustration of patterened masks


If 2023 is similar to the last few years, then a drop in temperatures around Halloween, followed by gatherings tied to Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, will lead to a rise in COVID-19 infections. But that is to be determined: For now, the overall health situation in the region continues to improve.


In the seven-day period ending Wednesday, there were an average of 242 confirmed new daily COVID-19 infections, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. That marks the fifth consecutive week with a decrease, and is the first time the number has dropped below 250 since July (figures are an undercount, and represent only cases reported to health authorities).


Just a month ago, the count was more than twice as high, with a daily average of 558 new cases on Sept. 13.


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


Another key metric, hospitalizations, also continues to fall. On Sept. 13, there were 620 COVID-19 patients in Los Angeles County hospitals. On Wednesday the count was 420.


Bar chart of hospitalizations in Los Angeles County


The situation is similar across California. According to the state’s COVID-19 tracking dashboard, on Oct. 7 (the latest date for which data is available), there were 1,396 COVID hospital patients in the state. That is a 10.3% decrease from the previous week. 


The high was the more than 21,000 patients hospitalized statewide in January 2021, the first winter of the pandemic, before vaccines were widely available.


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The decline in key metrics comes as a new vaccine is being distributed. Although more than 8.3 million people have received at least one dose, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that everyone 6 months and up be vaccinated with the latest version. Health leaders cite waning immunity and new variants as reasons for the shots.


In its Thursday published coronavirus briefing, the Department of Public Health wrote, “The updated COVID-19 vaccine is formulated for strains that are found now, specifically Omicron XBB descendants, which account for 99 percent of sequenced specimens in Los Angeles County.” 


Approximately 21.9 million doses have been administered in the county since the start of the pandemic, according to the Department of Public Health’s vaccine dashboard. That represents approximately 24% of the 89.8 million inoculations dispensed in California, according to the state’s COVID-19 vaccine tracking page


Information on vaccines and where to get a shot is available via the Department of Public Health’s website.


How we did it: We analyzed coronavirus data through Oct. 11, 2023, related to new cases, deaths, hospitalizations and vaccinations provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. The data only reflects cases reported to the department, and not how many cases actually occurred.


Learn more about our data here. Any questions? Email