Los Angeles COVID counts remain low

Health authorities warn that seasonal decline could be followed by a winter rise in transmission

Illustration with hands washing, needle, mask etc


The improving COVID-19 landscape that Angelenos have enjoyed for nearly two months continues. In the seven-day period ending Oct. 25, there was a daily average of 220 new cases, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.


That is essentially flat with the 217 cases from the previous week. The recent peak was the average of 571 cases tabulated on Aug. 30.


Line chart of weekly COVID-cases in Los Angeles County


However, if the past is indicative, the trend might not hold as colder weather arrives, and Halloween and then Thanksgiving lead to people gathering indoors, where infection becomes easier.


The Department of Public Health’s Oct. 19 briefing noted, “Historically, respiratory virus transmission is lower in October, before transmission begins to rise leading to a peak during winter months.”


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Hospitalizations continue to fall steadily. On Sept. 13, there were 620 people in the county receiving high-level medical care, according to the Department of Public Health.


The Oct. 25 count is 342. That represents an 8.5% decrease from last week, and is the sixth consecutive week of declining numbers.


Bar chart of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Los Angeles County


Last year there were 375 hospitalizations on Oct. 25, according to the Department of Public Health. A month later more than 700 people were hospitalized.


Local leaders are urging residents to get the newest COVID-19 vaccine, which protects against the Omicron XBB variants that are currently dominant in the region. According to the County Department of Public Health, more than 330,000 of the new doses went into arms in approximately the first month after the vaccine became available. 


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that everyone 6 months and older receive at least one dose of the new vaccine. County residents with questions about vaccines, including where to access them, or needing other COVID-related information, can contact the Public Health Call Center at (833) 540-0473. The line is open every day from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.


Despite the entreaties to get jabbed, there is much progress to make. According to the state’s vaccine dashboard, only 4.6% of California residents are up to date on their COVID inoculations. That works out to about 1.8 million people. 


Health authorities are also recommending that people get a seasonal flu shot, which can be administered at the same time as a COVID vaccine.


How we did it: We analyzed coronavirus data through Oct. 25, 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. We also examined state of California vaccine data


Learn more about our data here. Any questions? Email askus@xtown.la.