Los Angeles County reported 1,378 new COVID-19 cases and 19 additional virus-related deaths on Saturday, November 13.
Since the start of the pandemic, the county’s total number of cases and deaths has stood at 1,510,434 and 26,856, according to the latest figures from the Los Angeles County Department of Health.
According to the latest government data, the number of COVID patients in county hospitals remained stable, dropping to 604 from 605 on Friday. 170 of these patients were in the intensive care unit, up from 164 the day before.
Noting that while daily COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have dropped sharply from the same period last year, the county director of public health says those numbers remain too high and the daily virus-related deaths report remains virtually identical from last year.
“This number of deaths is a reminder of the destructive power of this virus, and the relatively high number of cases and hospitalizations reflect the dominance of the more contagious variant of Delta,” Barbara Ferrer said during an online media briefing on Friday.
She again noted that colder weather – despite a slight heatwave this week – has begun to translate into higher infection rates as more people gather indoors.
“We are aware of the risks associated with cooler weather and indoor meetings, and possibly some reduction in the effectiveness of the vaccine. “Getting vaccinated, getting boosters and camouflaging indoors and outdoors is still critical as we face the real possibility of a winter surge,” Ferrer said.
“Of course, across the country and in all parts of the world, colder weather has already led to a significant increase in the number of cases and, unfortunately, hospitalizations. It would be foolish not to listen to the reason behind this increase. Our plentiful supply of vaccinations allows us to offer an initial round of vaccinations to everyone 5 years of age and older, as well as boosters for those with weak defenses, allowing us to better prevent the tragedy we experienced last winter. ”
But in the absence of a significant increase in the rate of vaccination of people, the district will not achieve its goal of fully vaccinating 80% of the population aged 12 and older by the end of the year. Ferrer said the current vaccination rate needs to be increased by 60% to meet the target.
“While this is a big leap forward in vaccination, it can be done if the urgency of the moment prompts people to get vaccinated because we have a lot of vaccinations,” she said.
As of Tuesday, 81% of county residents aged 12 and over have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine, and 73% are fully vaccinated. Of the 10.3 million people in the district, 70% have received at least one dose, and 63% are fully vaccinated.
Ferrer said the county has seen a sharp increase in the number of unvaccinated people who have become infected and hospitalized in recent weeks, while the number of vaccinated residents has remained largely unchanged. The numbers show that unvaccinated residents are now seven times more likely to contract COVID than their vaccinated peers, and 44 times more likely to be hospitalized. According to Ferrer, the risk of death among the unvaccinated is 60 times higher.
Of the more than 5.9 million fully vaccinated people in the 72nd district, 163 have subsequently tested positive, Ferrer said, representing 1.22%. In total, 2,424 vaccinated people were hospitalized, which is 0.041%, and 396 people died, which is 0.007%.
The rolling average daily number of people who test positive for the virus remains low at 0.98% as of Friday. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the county’s seven-day cumulative incidence rate rose to 98 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. That number was in the mid-70s two weeks ago.
With 98 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, the county is on the verge of falling from a “substantial” CDC transfer to a “widespread” category.