Although COVID cases and hospitalizations are declining in Los Angeles County, daily deaths remain stable

The status of COVID-19 in Los Angeles County looks good on many fronts, except for one that worries public health officials.

Since last week, the 7-day average of new cases has fallen by 11%, while daily hospital admissions have fallen from nearly 100 new patients per day to now 76 per day. But the one metric that remains relatively unchanged is the number of residents dying per day. Since midsummer, deaths have fluctuated between 11 and 14 per day.

“We have 1.3 million people who are 65 and older and a million and a half who are not yet vaccinated and we have millions of people with underlying health conditions. Our best hope of truly reducing the number of deaths from COVID is that we need to bring transmission down even lower than where it is,” said LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

Ferrer said an important part of reducing transmission is getting booster shots. And the latest data shows that the dominant virus circulating is still the Omicron subvariant BA.5 contained in the updated boosters. Ferrer is urging everyone to get a flu shot and a COVID booster before the holiday begins.

Health officials also updated the LA County situation with monkeypox.

Since the third week of August, reported daily cases of monkeypox have dropped from 41 daily cases to about 12 cases per day now. This downward trend is consistent with what is happening globally and nationally.

dr LA County Chief Medical Officer Rita Singhal said that 73% of monkeypox vaccinations are the first dose and half of the people who are due for their second dose have received it. A new government study shows the effectiveness of these doses.

“The CDC concluded that unvaccinated people are at 14 times the risk of monkeypox disease than people vaccinated with one dose of the JYNNEOS vaccine,” Singhal said.

dr Singhal says the county has received its latest supply of monkeypox vaccine and encourages anyone who thinks they have been exposed or are at risk of exposure to get vaccinated.

The Senate passed a short-term spending bill this week, but it doesn’t include the billions of dollars President Biden wanted for the COVID-19 and monkeypox response.

Some of the money would have been used to research and develop vaccines and drugs and prepare for future COVID variants.

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved. Although COVID cases and hospitalizations are declining in Los Angeles County, daily deaths remain stable

Laura Coffey

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