LOS ANGELES, CA, Feb 3 – More LA County residents passed away from COVID-19 between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021 (24,947), than those who passed away from coronary heart diseases (21,513), which is historically the leading cause of death across the county. Over the same 22 months, there were 3,422 pneumonia and influenza deaths recorded, a far lower number of deaths when compared to COVID deaths. For the month of December, there were 396 deaths from COVID-19 compared to 163 deaths from pneumonia or influenza based on death certificate data. Unfortunately, despite the availability of vaccines and the dominance of Omicron, which generally causes less severe disease than prior variants, COVID-19 deaths continue to far outstrip deaths due to other respiratory illness.
As the latest surge continues to subside, older and unvaccinated residents continue being the most at risk of ending up in the intensive care unit (ICU) or even dying.
The seven-day average COVID ICU census dipped only slightly from 760 to 740 as of February 1, representing a 3% decline from the week prior. Meanwhile, among all COVID-positive hospitalized patients, 20% required ICU level care compared to 17% for the week prior, and 14% required ventilation compared to 12% the week prior.
Among COVID-19 residents admitted to the ICU, those 65 and older made up the majority at 53%; ages 50-64 were 27%; ages 30-49 were 13%; ages 18-29 were 4%; and those under 18 were 2%.
Additionally, vaccination status plays a key role in determining risk of critical illness and death. For the period ending January 22nd, residents who were fully vaccinated and had a booster were about 31 times less likely to need care in an ICU than those who were not vaccinated. Fully vaccinated individuals who did not have a booster dose were about 8 times less likely to be admitted to an ICU than unvaccinated individuals.
Data also showed that COVID-19 continues to disproportionately affect certain residents. From December 17, 2021, through January 15, 2022, unvaccinated residents ages 50-64 were over 15 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than the same age group who were fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated residents 65 and older were 24 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those fully vaccinated.
“I send my heartfelt condolences to those families who have lost a loved one due to COVID-19,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “As our COVID-19 metrics continue to improve, it is important to plan for ‘post-surge’ approaches that can minimize COVID-19 risk after this winter surge has ended, especially for those most at-risk. ‘Post-surge’ does not imply that the pandemic is over, or that transmission is low, or that there will not be additional unpredictable waves of surges that will require integrated public health measures. Rather, it acknowledges that currently we are stabilizing with consistent declines from the surge peak and realigns our current public health response to meet current mitigation needs. I am grateful to everyone for continuing, for two very long years, to take care of each other and for taking responsibility to layer in masking and other protections that help us move closer to our post-surge phase and to less virus transmission.”
Today, Public Health confirmed 96 additional deaths and 11,548 new cases of COVID-19. Of the 96 new deaths reported today, four people were between the ages of 30 and 49, 13 were between the ages of 50 and 64, 35 were between the ages of 65-79, and 41 were over the age of 80 years old. Of the 96 newly reported deaths, 84 had underlying conditions. Information on the one death reported by the City of Long Beach and the two deaths reported by the City of Pasadena is available at www.LongBeach.gov and www.CityofPasadena.net To date, the total number of deaths in L.A. County is 29,195.
Public Health has identified a total of 2,695,076 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County. Today’s positivity rate is 7.9%
There are 3,398 people with COVID-19 currently hospitalized. Testing results are available for more than 11,107,900 individuals, with 22% of people testing positive.
To keep workplaces and schools open, residents and workers are asked to:
Adhere to masking requirements when indoors or at crowded outdoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status.
Remain home when sick, isolate if positive and quarantine when in close contact.
Residents are legally required to be isolated if they have a positive COVID test result and are vaccinated. Close contacts with symptoms and unvaccinated close contacts need to be quarantined.