As a result of high levels of community transmission over the past month, more residents are experiencing severe illness and death. The number of COVID-positive hospitalized patients as of July 8 was 1,021, which is the highest number of hospitalized patients since Feb. 26.
The number of daily deaths on July 8 was 18 and is the highest number of deaths since March 30.
While Los Angeles County remains at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designated “medium” COVID-19 community level, its hospital admission rate, now at 8.4%, has increased 62% since last month.
Assuming a similar rate of increase in hospital admissions as what was observed the past two weeks, L.A. County’s hospital admission rate could reach or surpass the 10 admissions per 100,000 people per week threshold that would move the county into “high” in the CDC COVID-19 community levels framework by late next week.
As a reminder, the health department cannot predict with certainty what the future hospitalization trend will look like; however, it is looking more likely as cases and admissions continue to increase that the county will enter the high community level designation later this month. Should the county remain in the “high” level designation for two consecutive weeks, universal indoor masking, in alignment with the CDC, would be implemented across the county.
Since hospital metrics measure the impact of COVID transmission a few weeks after it occurs, the health department continues to track other metrics that can provide earlier indications of increasing risk, both in the community, and in specific sectors of the county. Currently, six of the seven county early alert signals continue to convey cause for “medium” or “high” concern.
This week, Public Health is using the signal to track the new subvariants BA.4 and BA.5. Currently BA.4 and BA.5 combined account for nearly 40% of the specimens sequenced, signaling “high” concern.
The proportion of emergency department cases that have involved people seeking care for COVID-19 has been steadily increasing, and it remains at elevated concern. For the seven-day period ending July 3, 8.4% of ED encounters were classified as COVID-related, significantly higher than the 6% seen at the end of May.
The number of outbreaks per week in skilled nursing facilities also continues to remain in a level of “high” concern, though there was a slight decrease, reflecting progress in controlling outbreaks. There were 25 new outbreaks during the seven days ending July 5, a decrease from the 35 outbreaks seen in the week ending June 28.
On July 8, the health department reported 18 additional deaths and 6,416 new positive cases. Of the 18 new deaths reported, one person was between the ages of 18-29, four people were between the ages of 30-49, two people were between the ages of 50-64, four people were between the ages of 65-79 and seven people were aged 80 years or older. Of the 18 newly reported deaths, 16 had underlying health conditions. To date, the total number of deaths in L.A. County is 32,413.
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