On Thursday, November 18, officials said that amid lingering concerns about a potential coronavirus surge after the holidays, Lancaster, Palmdale, Santa Clarita, Studio City and Venice are some of the latest coronavirus hotspots. There was one common theme though: this disease seems to be most common among young people.
From October 24 to November 6, Los Angeles County health officials identified the 10 cities in the region with the highest incidence rates, Los Angeles County Community Director Barbara Ferrer said Thursday.
Lancaster with a 14-day rate of 338 cases per 100,000, Palmdale with 331 cases per 100,000 and Studio City with 301 cases per 100,000, according to Ferrer’s data to reporters.
According to Ferrer, the metrics show many cities and districts that don’t necessarily follow the overall pattern. On the one hand, there is Lancaster, where vaccination rates are relatively low at 58%. But on the other hand, there are Studio City and Santa Clarita, where vaccination and testing rates are much higher. For example, in Studio City, the vaccination rate is 79%.
The differences are significant in the context of the widespread push for more vaccinations, Ferrer said, which is why public health officials are investigating the issue.
Ferrer noted that the numbers do not mean that vaccinations are not vital. In fact, Ferrer stressed that “you have a much higher risk of infection, hospitalization and tragic death. So it’s crystal clear and hasn’t really changed for several months. ” On an individual level, this remains true.
But Ferrer added that there may be more going on in communities that researchers still don’t fully understand.
“I was a little disappointed that we couldn’t get away from it and say, ‘Yes, it’s crystal clear. These communities, in the top 10 with recent high incidence rates, are those with low vaccination rates … “But that’s not true here,” Ferrer said.
In some cases, it can happen that more people have not been infected in the past and have not been vaccinated. But officials were looking for more data. But what’s true, Ferrer noted, is the relative youthfulness of the disease in these top 10 communities.
“The only thing that catches your eye is that the average age in all these communities was very low,” Ferrer said. “I mean this is essentially – in the highest performing communities – this is a pandemic that is actually being fueled by young people. When the average age is between 26 and 36, you know that these interactions, both in society and in the workplace, contribute. “
The list was a red flag ahead of the second holiday season of the COVID-19 era.
With the risk still substantially high district-wide, health officials remain concerned about the potential for spikes in the day after Thanksgiving.
After a fairly sharp drop from August to mid-October, hospital admissions for the disease appear to have declined recently. The county’s average daily incidence rate rose from 8 cases per 100,000 to 9 cases per 100,000 this week.
81 cases per 100,000 per week kept the county in a “significant transmission” to the CDC for several weeks.
The county also confirmed 26 more deaths on Thursday, adding to the 26,849 deaths here from the disease since February 2020. The county also confirmed 1,088 more cases, adding to the total 1,515,324 official cases from last year.
Officials rejoiced at the lack of a surge now with two weeks left until Halloween, which Ferrer attributed to more vaccinations for young people and families simply making the right choices, applying protective measures such as camouflage and social distancing where possible.
“We hope that this multi-layered protection will allow us to come together without risking increased transmission,” Ferrer said, referring to the upcoming vacation.
But she and other public health officials are focusing on areas within the country, such as Colorado, and internationally, such as Europe, where cases are skyrocketing and hospital wards are filling up again.
With the skyrocketing cases in the Upper Midwest, some Michigan schools are leaving students at home before Thanksgiving, and the military is sending medical teams to Minnesota to help hospital staff overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.
The deteriorating prospects in the Midwest are due to the fact that booster shots are becoming available to everyone in an increasing number of locations. Massachusetts and Utah were the latest to say anyone 18 and older can roll up their booster sleeve, and an advisory committee from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meets Friday to discuss booster expansion.
Cold weather states are dominated by a new wave of cases in the past seven days, including New Hampshire, North Dakota and Wisconsin, according to federal data. But there were also problems in the Southwest: more than 90% of hospital beds were occupied in Arizona.
“I think there are some situations that could be slightly different,” Ferrer said, referring to Los Angeles County. “We’ve put a lot of support into our schools … our schools are really very good at avoiding being places with a lot of transmission. But I think that traveling involves a lot of risk. We only encourage people to travel if they are fully vaccinated.
“This is our second Thanksgiving during the pandemic and we would like to avoid a spike. We need to be very careful about celebrating Thanksgiving so that we can have a good winter vacation. ”