The Los Angeles County Public Health Department on Monday, Oct. 24, reported a slight drop in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the county, along with 2,598 new cases and 28 new deaths over the three days since Saturday. The agency said 379 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in L.A. County, down slightly from the 392 reported Saturday.
Health department data also show 1,261 new cases reported Saturday, 814 Sunday and 523 Monday. On Saturday, the agency reported 11 new virus-related fatalities, along with 10 Sunday and seven Monday — bringing the cumulative death count in the county from throughout the pandemic to 33,915 deaths.
Monday’s daily positivity rate, covering a seven-day average, was 3.6%, the same as Saturday and slightly higher than Sunday’s 3.4%. The agency does not update data over the weekend. The numbers come after local health officials last week reported that COVID-19 mortality is down this year, though the impact of COVID-associated deaths remains “significant and concerning.”
An analysis by the health department found that a vast majority of increases in all-cause mortality were due to COVID-associated deaths. The agency said it reviewed COVID and non-COVID mortality rates for four six-month periods from January through June, 2019 to 2022, and compared it to the 10-year period ending in 2019, prior to the pandemic — when the all-cause mortality rate had been stable with a slight downward trend.
According to the health department, when the pandemic began, the all-cause mortality rate for the first half of 2020 increased from just under 300 deaths per 100,000 people to almost 336 deaths per 100,000. In 2021, it increased even more significantly to almost 400 deaths per 100,000. During the first half of 2022, it dropped back to about 336 deaths. The department said the majority of the increases were due to COVID- associated deaths but that COVID deaths did not account for all of the increase. In addition, the pandemic may have led to more deaths from other causes through delayed care for other conditions, health systems being overwhelmed, or people being apprehensive about potential exposure to the virus, the agency reported.
According to Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer, “We’ll need to do a better job using all the resources available” to protect against severe illness, hospitalization and death for those who contract the coronavirus. Health officials have noted that the majority of COVID fatalities involve elderly people and those with underlying health conditions, including heart disease, hypertension and diabetes.
The county logged a daily average of just under 920 cases of COVID-19 last week, a slight decrease over the average of about 950 the previous week.