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COVID-19 Hospitalizations in L.A. County Are Declining, Officials Urge Vigilance

The three-day average daily number of hospitalizations. | Graph courtesy of L.A. County Public Health

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed 85 new deaths and 4,223 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday.

The seven-day average number of daily cases peaked on Jan. 8 with more than 15,000 cases. As of Jan. 27, the seven-day average of new cases decreased 67% to 5,093.

There are 5,398 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized, 27% in the ICU. Daily hospitalizations decreased 30% from the peak of 8,000 daily hospitalizations in early-January. This is still significantly higher than pre-surge daily hospitalizations. Before the surge, between mid-September and late-October, the daily number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 was under 800 people. 

Residents over 80 years old have consistently experienced the highest rates of hospitalization among all age groups in L.A. County followed by residents 65 to 79 years old, and residents 50 to 64 years old. Recent data indicates obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes are the most common underlying health conditions among people hospitalized with COVID-19. Many people have multiple underlying health conditions.

“We are all still living through the nightmare of this surge; last week, on average, 217 people died each day from COVID-19, and two days last week, we reported that more than 300 people died each day,” Barbara Ferrer, director of Public Health, said in a statement.

As the virus remains widespread, health officials cautioned against complacency and gatherings like the ones that, in part, fueled the winter surge.

“Now is the time to remain super vigilant against this deadly virus and continue to stay home as much as possible. Please stay home on Super Bowl Sunday,” implored Ferrer. “For the moment, we are headed in a positive direction in bringing our cases down — the last thing we need right now are super-spreader events that set us back and potentially could lead to more cases, serious illness and tragic deaths.”

On the vaccine front, officials say L.A. County has “administered more doses of vaccine and have vaccinated a higher percentage of our population to date than any other large county or large city in the U.S.” As of Jan. 25, the cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses received in L.A. County were nearly 1 million and by the end of that week, 80% or nearly 800,000 doses had been administered. 

Last week, the county received just 146,000 doses and a large percentage were reserved for second doses. More than 85,000 appointments have been reserved for second dose vaccine administration at county sites through Feb. 19. People who were vaccinated at one of the five large capacity county sites or one of the smaller county-operated community sites are receiving emails notifying them of the date and place for their second dose appointment.  

The biggest challenge remains not having enough vaccine for those eligible to be vaccinated.  

For information about vaccines in L.A. County, when your turn is coming up and to sign up for a vaccination newsletter, and much more, visit: VaccinateLACounty.com. Residents with internet access and a computer are urged to use the website to sign up as appointments become available. For those without access to a computer or the internet or with disabilities, a call center is open to help schedule appointments at (833) 540-0473, daily from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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