The number of coronavirus patients in Los Angeles County hospitals has fallen to 375, down by 28 over the previous day’s total, according to the latest state data released Tuesday, Oct. 25. Of those patients, 43 were being treated in intensive care, down from 49 the previous day.
The county reported 980 new cases of COVID-19 and nine additional deaths linked to the virus Tuesday, bringing its cumulative totals to 3,482,181 cases and 33,924 fatalities since the pandemic began. Health officials have said that the majority of COVID-related deaths occur in people who are elderly or have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension or heart disease.
The county’s daily test positivity rate was 4.1% Tuesday, up from 3.8% Monday, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. 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 Friday 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.
Ferrer said the number of new outbreaks in K-12 classrooms fell from 11 a week ago to seven during the past week, and continues to be of low concern.